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Attorneys argue how much, if any, of Nikolas Cruz's statement should be made public

Parkland school shooter's attorneys want most of statement supressed

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – How much of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz's statement to investigators should be made public is an issue going before a judge.

A hearing was held Monday on whether any or all of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter's statement should be released. 

Attorneys for Cruz want most of the statement suppressed, contending it would improperly influence jurors in his trial who might misconstrue it as a confession.

"What is the likelihood of this court finding 12 men and women who have not already heard about the case and who haven't already formed some kind of opinion about the case?" one of Cruz's attorneys asked. 

Cruz's attorneys also don't want a report about their client's extensive school and medical records released to the public.

News organizations, including The Associated Press, want as much of the statement released as possible. Florida law requires most evidence to be made public once it is turned over by prosecutors to the defense.

"It's the public's right to understand how it is that 17 people were murdered at this school," an attorney arguing on behalf of the news organizations said.  

Cruz's younger brother, Zachary Cruz, sat in the courtroom for the hearing. 

The lead detective's report was not complete at the time of Monday's hearing or submitted to the defense. He has until Friday to complete the report.  

Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said she will rule later on whether to release all, part or none of Nikolas Cruz's statement and will allow time for an appeal by either side within 10 days after her ruling.

Cruz, 19, faces the death penalty if convicted of killing 17 people in the Valentine's Day attack. His attorneys said he would plead guilty in exchange for life in prison, but prosecutors have rejected that offer.


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