FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Broward grand jury is expected to hear testimony in the case of Nikolas Cruz, the self-confessed gunman who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.
Cruz, 19, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder hours after the shooting, but before the case can move forward prosecutors have to file formal charges.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office typically presents evidence in all first-degree murder cases and all police shootings to a panel of grand jurors, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
On Tuesday, the panel is expected to hear testimony from law enforcement, witnesses, and the Sneads – the family who took in Cruz after his mother died. They will then vote on an indictment.
Cruz’s attorneys say he is willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, according to the public defender’s office representing him. State Attorney Michael J. Satz has said in the past that this “certainly is the type of case the death penalty was designed for” but a decision to seek it would only be made after consulting with all the victims’ families.
If the grand jury does indict Cruz, his attorneys can try to work out a plea deal with prosecutors. If that fails, the case would go to trial.
In death penalty cases, jurors have to vote 12-0 in favor of execution or the convicted person would face life in prison.