FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A hearing was held Tuesday morning in the case of self-confessed Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz.
Cruz was not at the hearing but the judge and lawyers met to discuss the upcoming trial.READ MORE: Three Years Later, Parkland School Shooting Trial Remains In Limbo
His trial was originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, but has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut court operations down and made in-person jail access difficult for the defense.
However, Tuesday morning, Judge Elizabeth Scherer, presiding over the case, said, “Once the court opens, we are number one for trial.”
Judge Scherer said while she can’t order anyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but she wants everyone ready to go once court operations are open again.
“I expect everybody to be ready by that time. I don’t know when that’s going to be right now but the doctors not wanting to go into the jail was fine a couple months ago and it’s fine today but they need to make their best efforts to take whatever precautionary measures they need to take to be able to get into jail,” said the judge.READ MORE: Families Impacted By Parkland School Shooting Remain Focused On School Safety, Changing Laws
She wants anyone involved in the case, including doctors and lawyers, to be “diligent and prepared.”
Another hearing is scheduled for next month and Cruz is supposed to be there.
This past Sunday, Feb. 14, marked three years since Cruz, then 19 years old, walked into the freshmen building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire with an AR-15, killing 17 people and wounding 17 others.
He is now 22 years old.MORE NEWS: Parkland School Shooting Victims Remembered At Local Events
The case could have been all over by now. Cruz’s lawyers have repeatedly said he would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. But prosecutors won’t budge on seeking the death penalty at trial.