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The Latest: Defense wants Cruz jail records kept private

FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2018 file photo, Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz listens during a status check on his case at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Authorities say Cruz attacked a detention officer at the county jail, Tuesday, Nov. 13, and now faces new charges. Cruz is charged with killing 17 people and wounding 17 others in the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool, File)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Defense lawyers are asking a judge to keep jail records about Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz’s mental condition private.

Lawyers for the 20-year-old Cruz said at a hearing Tuesday that the Broward County jail records are similar to medical records that must stay sealed to protect his privacy. They are from daily observation reports done by corrections officers because Cruz is on suicide watch and listed as having an “altered mental state.”

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer did not immediately rule on the request. The sheriff’s office says the reports are not done by medical professionals and are not the same as medical records.

Cruz faces the death penalty if convicted of the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others. His lawyers say he would plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence.

The next status hearing for Cruz will be Jan. 8.

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11 a.m.

The head of an association representing principals and assistant principals in Florida says four Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School administrators who were reassigned more than nine months after 17 people were killed are being made into scapegoats.

Lisa Maxwell, who heads the Broward Principals and Assistants Association, said Tuesday that her office is preparing to sue the school district to stop the reassignment of the three assistant principals.

A security specialist also was transferred.

Teachers protested outside the school Tuesday, demanding the return of the administrators.

Maxwell says the reassignments are a political ploy to provide cover for the district’s superintendent.

Maxwell says the administrators haven’t been told the reason for their reassignments, and she says that’s a violation of their due process rights.

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9:45 a.m.

Some teachers are questioning the Broward School District’s reassignment of four Marjory Stoneman Douglas administrators more than nine months after 17 people were killed.

Debbie Wanamaker, who worked in student services under one of the reassigned administrators, told the Miami Herald Tuesday that “supposedly we’re safer now.” Her daughter was inside the first classroom that got shot into on Valentine’s Day.

During a protest outside the school Tuesday, American history teacher Gregory Pittman wondered why the three assistant principals and a security specialist weren’t pulled at the beginning of the school year if they were “such a problem.”

The reassignments were announced Monday and followed a state commission’s investigation into the shooting.

Principal Ty Thompson hugged each teacher as they filed back into the school after the protest.

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8:35 a.m.

More than 50 teachers chanted “bring them back” outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, demanding the return of four administrators who were reassigned after a state commission’s investigation of the shooting that killed 17 people on Valentine’s Day.

The teachers wore maroon Stoneman Douglas shirts as they demonstrated outside the Parkland school on Tuesday morning.

Broward County Public Schools announced the reassignments Monday. Some teachers told WPLG they don’t think the three assistant principals and a security specialist did anything wrong. They say it was the FBI and other organizations that made mistakes.

Twenty-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges. He’s due back in a Fort Lauderdale courtroom Tuesday afternoon.

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12:18 a.m.

The suspect in the Florida school shooting that left 17 dead in February is due back in court for another hearing.

The hearing Tuesday mainly deals with procedural motions involving 20-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who faces the death penalty if convicted of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Cruz’s lawyers say he would plead guilty to murder and attempted murder charges in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors have rejected that.

No trial date has been set for Cruz and is likely a long ways off.

Cruz is also charged with assaulting a corrections officer in the jail where he is being held without bail.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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