Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Self-confessed Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz appeared in court Friday afternoon at a hearing where his public defender was granted a request to waive their right to a speedy trial.
The rule generally requires that a felony defendant go to trial within 175 days of arrest unless it’s waived.
In addition, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer set a May 4 deadline for a defense lawyers to file a demand for evidence from prosecutors.
The hearing was delayed for 45 minutes while the judge tried to find a court reporter for the proceedings.
“We are trying to get anyone we can I apologize for the delay” said Judge Scherer.
Cruz, cuffed to a belly chain and shackled at the ankles, shuffled into court with his head down just like his previous hearings.
Cruz is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Broward state attorney Mike Satz, who will be the lead prosecutor, appeared for the first time at Friday’s hearing. He has been tied up in another case
Broward County prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty despite his attorney’s offer of a guilty plea in exchange for a life sentence.
If prosecutors seek the death penalty, Cruz will join a short list of mass shooting suspects who’ve faced their victims in court. Of the 10 deadliest shootings in recent US history, Cruz is the only one who was captured alive.
His next hearing is scheduled for May 25, where lawyers will discuss how to proceed with the case, including which witnesses to depose first.