Judge to consider delaying trial start in Parkland massacre

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FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, file photo, Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz is escorted into the courtroom for a status hearing at the Broward Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. A series of defense motions are set to be heard in the case of Nikolas Cruz, accused in the killing of 17 people at a Florida high school last year. Two court hearings are scheduled Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 for the 21-year-old Cruz, who faces the death penalty if convicted in the February 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool, File)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) The judge overseeing the case of Florida school shooting defendant Nikolas Cruz will consider a defense request to delay the start of the trial.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer on Tuesday set a Dec. 19 hearing on the defense motion.


Trial for 21-year-old Cruz is currently set to begin Jan. 27, but defense lawyers say that is too soon given the case’s magnitude.

Cruz faces the death penalty if convicted in the Valentine’s Day 2018 massacre that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. His lawyers say he would plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence.

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