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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – A hearing for Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz was postponed Wednesday because a court reporter became ill.
The hearing was reset for Friday when a judge is expected to decide whether Cruz should continue to be supervised by a corrections officer, he is accused of assaulting.
Cruz’s lawyers want Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer to stop Cruz from being supervised by Sgt. Raymond Beltran. Cruz is kept segregated from other prisoners and is under close watch at the Broward County Jail.
Authorities say Cruz attacked Beltran in November amid increasing friction between the two. Cruz faces several felony charges related to that incident. Beltran remains as his lead corrections officer.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office contends it has the right to decide its own jail policy, not the inmates.
Tuesday, Cruz was also in court as his lawyers asked the judge to release evidence collected from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. The commission did dozens of interviews and collected numerous pieces of evidence before releasing its 446-page report earlier this month. Cruz attorney Melisa McNeil said at the hearing that the defense needs access to that material for his defense.
Jason Jones, who represents the chairman of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, said most of the key witness statements and transcripts had already been turned over to Broward County prosecutors. Jones said he would have a list of other evidence to Cruz’s defense by Friday.
Assistant State Attorney Steven Klinger said prosecutors were still going through about 180 witness statements collected by the commission but would soon turn them over to Cruz’s lawyers. Judge Scherer set a Jan. 29 deadline for that to happen.
Those statements become public record once they are turned over to the defense.
Cruz, 20, faces the death penalty if convicted in the Valentine’s Day shooting that killed 17 people at . His lawyers have offered a guilty plea in exchange for life in prison, but prosecutors reject that.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)