Judge: Florida school shooting trial will begin in January

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A judge insists the trial will begin in late January for Florida school shooting defendant Nikolas Cruz in the 2018 massacre that killed 17 people.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said at a hearing Wednesday that she won’t delay the trial expected to start Jan. 27 with jury selection.

Defense attorneys for the 21-year-old Cruz said they have many more interviews to do. They also said no decision has been made on a possible insanity defense.

Cruz has pleaded not guilty, but his lawyers say he would admit to the crimes in exchange for a life prison sentence. Prosecutors insist on the death penalty.

Cruz is accused of the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. He faces 17 first-degree murder charges and 17 attempted murder charges.

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