Nikolas Cruz in court in fight over statement to investigators
PARKLAND, Fla. (CBS12) —
Accused school shooter Nikolas Cruz was back in court Monday afternoon, where his lawyers argued over whether to make his statement to investigators public.
Cruz sat with his head down for nearly two hours, and his eyes barely open. His brother, Zachary Cruz, was there to support him.
During the hearing regarding the release of Cruz’s statement, his lawyers argued the alleged confession to police not be released to the public.
“What is the likelihood that the 1.8 million people in Broward county are going to digest that material.”
The defense argued the dangers of publicity and said there’s already too much information out there regarding the case.
“This is certainly outrageously media exaggerated. What is the likelihood of this court finding 12 men and women who have not heard about the case and already formed some sort of opinion about it.”
Cruz’s defense lawyer told the judge the publicity surrounding the Parkland shooting has exceeded even some of Florida’s most notorious cases.
“The court has to recognize we are far beyond Rolling, Bundy, Wournos. They did not result in constant almost 24 hour a day and night coverage.”
The state told the judge they took out the substance of the alleged confession under public records law and made appropriate redactions.
Lawyers for multiple media entities told the judge the statement should be released to clarify any misinformation already out there.
“There’s a great public concern about how this case is handled, why Mr. Cruz did what he did? How he did it? What happened after? The law enforcement response? All of that.”
The judge didn’t make a decision on the release of the alleged confession.
She did tell the lawyers she’d like to set a trial date for Cruz for September 2019.
Cruz’s lawyers said that a trial September of next year would not be realistic when they haven’t even started taking depositions.