No contempt for Broward Sheriff's Office over school shooting records, judge says

Posted at 10:56 AM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 10:56:04-05

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge has denied an effort by defense attorneys to hold the Broward Sheriff's Office in contempt of court for releasing suspect Nikolas Cruz's medical records to a state investigative commission.

The order dated Tuesday by Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer says the records release was limited, not done in bad faith and was an isolated incident. Scherer also says the sheriff's office may not have been aware of restrictions she had placed on the records.

Cruz's medical records were provided last summer to the commission created to investigate the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in which 17 people were killed. They have not been made public.

Defense lawyers wanted Scherer to hold a hearing on whether the sheriff's office should be found in contempt of court for a violating her previous order limiting release of the records.

Cruz, 20, faces the death penalty. His lawyers have offered a guilty plea in return for life in prison.