Florida school shooting suspect is facing trial in a brawl for his conviction

The jury selection for Nikolas Cruz charges, The jury will finally decide whether the suspect in the 2018 murder of 17 students at a Florida highschool is guilty.

Florida school shooting suspect is facing trial in a brawl for his conviction

The jury selection for Nikolas Cruz charges, The jury will finally decide whether the suspect in the 2018 murder of 17 students at a Florida highschool is guilty. But not for the slayings. which he allegedly attacked a Broward County prison guard nine months following the February 14, 2018 shootings at Marjory stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, begins Monday. Cruz, a Stoneman Douglas former student, got into a fight with Sgt. Raymond Beltran was jailed for the murders of 14 students, three staff members and 17 other woundings. The murder trial has not been scheduled. This has been delayed due to the pandemic, arguments over witnesses and evidence. It could begin in the next few weeks. "The murderer accused of taking our children's lives was clearly violent and took that out upon a guard. Tony Montalto, president and CEO of Stand With Parkland (a group made up of victims' families), stated that he must face the justice system. The shooting claimed the life of Gina, Cruz's 14-year old daughter. Cruz, 23 years old, faces a possible sentence of 15 years if he is convicted for attempted criminal battery on an officer of the law and three other lesser charges. Cruz could be sentenced to death or life without parole if he's found guilty of first degree murder. However, this trial is still relevant. Prosecutors can make the argument that Cruz was convicted of attacking Beltran and seek to execute him during the penalty phase. Mark Dobson, a Nova Southeastern University law professor and former Florida prosecutor, said that if that is included as an aggravating fact, it will be difficult for that to not be in the jury's minds. The prosecution declined to comment on the matter, stating that the "jail video" and the evidence in the case were sufficient evidence. Cruz's public defense team declined to comment as they didn't want the incident to cause further trauma for the families of the victims. Cruz's lawyers are expected to claim that Beltran had mistreated Cruz before and provoked the brawl in a Broward County jail recreation. The incident was recorded on a soundless security camera. According to court records Melisa McNeill (Cruc's lead attorney) had complained about Beltran's treatment six weeks prior to the fight to Broward Sheriff's. Although no details about the alleged mistreatment were released, his attorneys stated at a recent court hearing they believe Beltran was the only guard they ever complained about. Cruz's lawyers claim that the sheriff's office deleted video of Cruz and Beltran's three-hours together before the fight. They asked within one day for it to be preserved, and were told that it would. The video preserves the fight just a few minutes before it. The video shows Cruz moving in circles, his head down and his head pointing at attached benches. He is wearing an orange jail jumpsuit with a white long-sleeve shirt and sandals. Beltran is seated at a corner table. Cruz suddenly stops 10 feet (3 metres) away from Beltran. The two men appear to be exchanging words. Beltran said that he requested Cruz not to drag his feet or damage his sandals. Cruz flips Beltran's middle fingers and charges the guard who defends himself. Cruz, who is 130 pounds and 60 kilograms in weight, throws Beltran to the ground before the guard can flip him and briefly pin him. Cruz grabs Beltran’s stun gun, and the two fight over it, apparently jolting neither. Before the guard takes it away. Beltran manages to grab Cruz and they take up boxing stances. Beltran is stunned when Cruz punches Beltran on the shoulder. The guard then hits Cruz in his head. Beltran raises his stun gun to point at Cruz who was sitting on a bench. Cruz is placed face-down on the ground, and is then handcuffed. The fight lasted just over a minute. Both were not seriously injured. Due to Cruz's reputation in South Florida jury selection will take three days. In a typical jail battery case with a defendant that the public does not know, it might take several hours. To seat six jurors and alternates, the court will screen 400 applicants. According to The Florida Bar, 22 people are required for similar offenses and jail battery trials. Cruz's lawyers will seek to remove any candidate who cannot separate their knowledge about Stoneman Douglas from the only considerations jurors must make during the trial: Was Cruz an attacker on Beltran, and if so, how was that provoked? As the assault charge is not relevant to the testimony, it will be prohibited for witnesses to testify about the killings. This would be prejudicial. The rest of the trial will likely last only one to three days once the jury has been selected. The murder trial will likely last for months. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer held frequent hearings in recent week to discuss issues that need to be resolved before the trial begins. Montalto stated that "the wheels of justice grind slowly" and was especially true for our family group. Cruz's lawyers have stated that he would plead guilty for 17 murders in return for a life sentence. The offer was declined by the prosecution, who said that this case is one that should result in the death penalty.

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