FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) — Attorneys for confessed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School gunman Nikolas Cruz went before a judge Friday to see if she would waive his attendance at future pretrial hearings.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said that in order to obtain the waiver she would have to question Cruz directly. She said if he “knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently” waives his appearance, she will allow it.

Cruz’s attorneys wanted him excluded because they felt his presence draws television coverage that emotionally damages survivors of the February 14th, 2018, attack that left 17 dead.

After some discussion, they decided they did not want him questioned in open court so Scherer said she would disregard the motion.

Also during the hearing, the defense argued against the released Cruz’s jailhouse visitor log by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Judge Scherer said she may decide on that Monday.

Cruz’s attorneys would like prosecutors to accept a deal of a guilty plea guilty in return for a life sentence without parole.

Prosecutors have declined the deal and are seeking a death sentence.

Trial for the 20-year-old Cruz is scheduled for early next year.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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