FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz was in court on Tuesday for a status hearing.
Last week, Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, leaving a jury to decide whether he will be executed for the deadliest high school shooting in US history.READ MORE: Parkland Shooter Nikolas Cruz Pleads Guilty To All Counts In School Massacre
The guilty pleas set the stage for a penalty trial in which 12 jurors will determine whether the 23-year-old should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.
However, on Tuesday morning, his lawyers filed a series of motions to suppress evidence in the case. Attorneys for both sides will meet with the judge next week to go over the motions ahead of that penalty phase jury selection.READ MORE: ‘We Want Him Dead, We Want Him Forgotten’: Parkland Shooter Nikolas Cruz’s Apology Falls Flat With Victims Families
Given the case’s notoriety, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer plans to screen thousands of prospective jurors.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin in January.MORE NEWS: ‘I Can’t Live With Myself Sometimes’: Parkland Shooter Nikolas Cruz Apologizes To Victims’ Families After Pleading Guilty To School Massacre
The prosecution has said they plan to seek the death penalty. To impose a death sentence, all 12 jurors must agree. If they do, Judge Scherer will make the final decision.