Nikolas Cruz formally indicted on murder charges, could face death penalty


A grand jury in Florida on Wednesday formally indicted Nikolas Cruz on 17 counts of premeditated first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection to the Parkland, Florida, shooting.

A lawyer for Anthony Borges and his family says the sheriff's office, the school resource officer, the Broward County school system and the principal at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School failed to protect students from a teen-aged gunman who killed 17 people and wounded more than a dozen others on Valentine's Day.

This is a developing story. Cruz, whose attorneys have admitted his guilt, could ultimately face the death penalty.

James and Kimberly Snead, who took in Cruz after his mother died, were questioned for an hour Wednesday morning by the grand jury.

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Cruz gave himself up without a fight and has been held at the Broward County Jail since the shooting.

"They tried to do the right thing", Attorney Jim Lewis said.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas students said that they were not surprised Cruz had been the suspect because of his past interactions.

Cruz's attorney, Broward County public defender Howard Finkelstein, has said Cruz will plead guilty in the case if the death penalty is removed as an option, possibly sending him to prison for life.

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Cruz admitted to police that he took an AR-15 rifle into the high school on 14 February and started shooting.

Due to his notoriety, Cruz is living in isolation in a cell in the facility's infirmary, according to the documents, which are mostly notes by jail employees. Democrats' efforts failed Tuesday to strip the bill of language that would create a program to arm some teachers and school employees who complete law enforcement training.

In Tallahassee, the Florida House is expected to vote on gun legislation stemming from the school shooting.

Cruz, a former student at Stoneman Douglas High, took an Uber there on February 14 while hiding an AR-15 and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in a soft case and a backpack he was carrying. After a two week recess, the school has finally reopened its doors.

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