FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the Florida school shooting (all times local):
A judge has entered a plea of not guilty to all 34 charges against the 19-year-old who prosecutors say killed 17 people at a Florida high school last month.
A lawyer for Nikolas Cruz said Wednesday that he would plead guilty to all 34 counts in his indictment if prosecutors waived the death penalty.
Prosecutors said Tuesday that they would seek the death penalty against Cruz, who is charged with the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer entered the not guilty pleas on Cruz's behalf after he remained silent.
Wearing red jail clothes and shackled, Cruz sat in the jury box with his head bowed and said nothing.
Now formally facing the death penalty, the suspect in the Valentine's Day school shooting that killed 17 people in Florida is headed for a court appearance on a 34-count indictment.
An arraignment hearing is scheduled Wednesday afternoon for 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. His attorneys say he will plead guilty to all charges if the death penalty is not pursued. But prosecutors filed formal notice Tuesday they will indeed seek capital punishment.
Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein says Cruz is "immediately ready" to plead guilty in return for 34 consecutive life sentences but not with the death penalty on the table.
Cruz will likely enter no plea. If so, the presiding judge will enter a not guilty plea on his behalf.