Judge won’t close hearings in Parkland school shooting case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Florida judge has refused to close pretrial hearings to the media and public in the case of the man accused of killing 17 people in a 2018 high school mass shooting.

Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer on Tuesday rejected a motion by defendant Nikolas Cruz’s lawyers claiming that intense pretrial media coverage jeopardizes his right to a fair trial.

The motion had been opposed by The Associated Press and other media outlets.

The 22-year-old Cruz faces the death penalty if convicted in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Seventeen people died and 17 were wounded in that shooting.