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Judge allows school shooter’s defense to film crime scene in Parkland

A general view of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on February 27, 2018. (Photo by RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images)
A general view of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on February 27, 2018. (Photo by RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images) (Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

PARKLAND, Fla. – A judge allowed the attorneys who are defending the man who confessed to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre to film the crime scene in Parkland. The judge issued the order on Friday and the work started on Sunday. There were nine hours scheduled on Tuesday and nine hours on Wednesday.

Attorneys are preparing for the death penalty trial of Nikolas Cruz who investigators said used a Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II semi-automatic rifle, a variant of the AR-15, during the Feb. 14, 2018 massacre.

Prosecutors and Marla Carroll, a forensic video consultant, visited the crime scene on Aug. 5, 2019, records show. Cruz’s defense filed a motion on June 7 asking for access to the 1200 building, which deputies closed to preserve the crime scene.

Prosecutors asked Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth A. Scherer to deny the request and anticipated the defense was likely going to use the video to allege there was a change in the condition of the crime scene, records show.

Scherer responded four days later with an order to allow it. Defense attorneys alleged the filming is in preparation for the case.

Cruz is facing 17 counts of capital murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder charges. Scherer said earlier this year that she wants his trial to begin in September.

Cruz was 19 years old when Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested him for the massacre and he will be 23 years old in September.

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Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Guadalupe Monarrez contributed to this report.


About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.