Judge to review Nikolas Cruz's confession before deciding on its release

Prosecutors, attorneys for Parkland school shooter present arguments in court

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A judge will review the transcripts and video of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz's confession before deciding whether to release it to the public.

Broward County Judge Elizabeth Scherer heard from the state and prosecutors in a hearing Friday before saying she would read the 200-page transcript and watch the 12-hour long confession video before making a decision.

Cruz's lawyers want Scherer to stop the release of a statement from his recorded confession, but prosecutors claim there is nothing of substance to block.

Attorneys argue that the "publication of certain portions of the statement will cause significant trauma to an already beleaguered community, impede the defendant's constitutional right against self-incrimination, as well his right to a fair and impartial trial."

However, prosecutor Carolyn V. McCann wrote that the confession in question "has been redacted" from Cruz's statement.

At issue is the recorded confession Cruz gave to BSO Detective John Curcio after his arrest on the day of the Feb. 14 mass shooting that killed 14 students and three faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

McCann said the state has reviewed Cruz's statement, which is being prepared for public release under Florida's public records law. She said it would not be ready for release until Monday.

"The defendant has not and cannot cite any Florida law supporting his position that the contemplated filing of a motion to suppress a statement is a basis to interfere with the state's duty to respond to a request for public records under established Florida law," McCann said.

Cruz has been held without bond since the shooting. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

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