Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in court, asks to leave

Posted at 8:43 AM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 13:49:17-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz appeared in court for the first time in weeks on Friday morning and was immediately given permission to leave.

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The 21-year-old Cruz told Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer he didn't want to take part in a hearing Friday concerning his alleged assault on a jail corrections officer. Scherer granted his request.

Judge Scherer didn't rule on whether Cruz must take part in an afternoon hearing on several defense motions involving the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland

Cruz faces the death penalty if convicted. His attorneys say he will plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors have rejected that offer.

Cruz's trial is currently set to begin with jury selection on Jan. 27.

WPTV and the Associated Press contributed to this report.