Lawyers for Nikolas Cruz want to keep jail records private

Parkland school shooter back in court for hearing

By Associated Press, Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz was back in court Tuesday afternoon.

Cruz sat in a Broward County courtroom as attorneys discussed procedural motions involving the 20-year-old's trial, which has not yet been scheduled.

Defense lawyers asked Judge Elizabeth Scherer to keep the Broward County jail records about Cruz's mental condition sealed to protect his privacy. They are from daily observation reports done by corrections officers because Cruz is on suicide watch and listed as having an "altered mental state."

Scherer did not immediately rule on the request. The Broward Sheriff's Office claims the reports are not done by medical professionals and are not the same as medical records.

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz listens to his lawyer during a hearing, Nov. 27, 2018, at the Broward County courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The hearing was held on the same day that teachers and students protested the decision by Broward County Public Schools to reassign three assistant principals and a security specialist.

Cruz is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the Valentine's Day mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He faces the death penalty if convicted. His lawyers said he would plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of life in prison.

The next status hearing for Cruz will be Jan. 8.

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