MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Public defenders for confessed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz will not get to secretly subpoena his former mental health counselors.

Broward judge Elizabeth Scherer in an order posted Thursday ruled Cruz’s public defenders under state law can’t force counselors who treated him before the shooting to be interviewed without notifying prosecutors and allowing their attendance.

Cruz’s attorneys told Scherer last month that counselors usually agree to informal, voluntary interviews, but the company employing Cruz’s counselors won’t let them talk without a subpoena because it’s being sued by victims’ families.

The 20-year-old Cruz is charged with killing 17 students and faculty, and injuring 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018.

Cruz’s attorneys say he would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

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

Comments