Prosecutors begin presenting grand jury with evidence against Nikolas Cruz

Cruz charged in connection with Parkland school shooting that killed 17

By Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter, Associated Press

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Prosecutors have begun presenting a grand jury with evidence against Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School gunman Nikolas Cruz.

The panel, which is meeting behind closed doors, is expected to decide whether to file formal charges against Cruz, 19, by Wednesday.

The former Stoneman Douglas student has been jailed since the Feb. 14 massacre at the Parkland high school.

Cruz confessed to investigators when he was captured about an hour after the shooting. Multiple witnesses have identified him as the shooter.

The Broward County State Attorney's Office typically presents evidence to grand jurors in all first-degree murder cases and all police shootings. The panel will hear testimony from witnesses and then vote on an indictment. 

James and Kimberly Snead, whose son was friends with Cruz and who allowed Cruz to live with them after his mother died, are expected to answer questions Wednesday for the grand jury.

"I think they are going to want to know what was going on with Nik Cruz in the 90 days that he lived with them prior to the shooting," the Snead's attorney, Jim Lewis, said. "You know, whether they saw anything. They are going to want to know, obviously, about the access to weapons that he had in the home, how depressed he was, what he was doing -- all these kinds of things we expect they are going to want to know about." 

Cruz faces 17 counts of premeditated murder, among other charges, and could face the death penalty if he is convicted.

The defense has said Cruz will agree to plead guilty to the murder charges if prosecutors agree to not seek the death penalty. 

Prosecutors have not said whether they will consider offering Cruz a plea deal. 

Copyright 2018 by WPLG The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.