Listen to this story
Parkland killer Nikolas Cruz could face the death penalty
The person responsible for the massacre of a Florida high school, one of the deadliest in the United States, admitted to being guilty of the deaths of 17 people.
The 23-year-old Nikolas Cruz, accused of killing 14 students and 3 workers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in southeastern Florida, could face the death penalty, after this Tuesday, October 20, he accepted in court his culpability.
Cruz admitted his guilt in the shooting that began on February 14, 2018 at the Florida high school, in which 17 people were killed. He also accepted responsibility for the attempted murder of 17 more people during the shooting.
During his statement, the murderer confessed that he understood that he could be subjected to the death penalty. However, it will be a hearing in which a jury will determine the punishment.
This process is expected to begin in January 2022, said Judge Elizabeth Scherer.
According to a BBC report, the 23-year-old could face the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole.
Cruz's admission of guilt will allow the victims' relatives to be subjected to the trauma of the extensive public criminal trial with some 900 witnesses and an extensive file after more than three and a half years of that mass murder.
According to international media investigations, the so-called Parkland massacre ranks in the top 10 deadliest mass shootings in US history.
Last week, the lawyers representing Nikolas Cruz asked the court to impose 17 consecutive life sentences on the defendant, however, the prosecutors handling the case rejected the offer; on the contrary, they asserted that they would do what was necessary to obtain the death penalty, and that they would work to prove that the crime "was especially nefarious, heinous or cruel."
During the hearing on Tuesday, a Broward County state attorney remarked that Cruz's action was violent and premeditated, while recalling that the young man came that day with a vest, a backpack, a semiautomatic rifle and eleven chargers.
A student with behavior problems
According to the prosecution's investigation, Cruz was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2017. On the other hand, students and staff at the school described him as conflictive.
Reports also indicate that the young man recorded self-harm and uploaded the videos to Snapchat, for which the local police and the Department of Children and Family Services had previously investigated.