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Defense counsel in State of Florida v. Cruz seeks to have all hearings closed to the public

Attorneys for the former student who confessed to the February 14, 2018 murders of three faculty members and 14 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have filed a motion to have all future hearings closed to the public.



The 17 innocents murdered in Parkland.




Defense counsel is concerned about the ability to seat an unbiased jury in the criminal trial for the confessed Parkland shooter. The request is based on ensuring a fair trial arising from substantial pre-trial publicity the case has and is expected to continue to receive is obtained. Prosecutors announced they will oppose the motion.


The government is seeking the death penalty in this case.The defendant has pled not guilty to 17 counts of capital murder. Defense counsel have said he would change his plea to guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence. Prosecutors have rejected that offer.


The next scheduled event in the matter is a status conference currently set to occur on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Although the presiding judge previously stated she expected the matter to go to trial in September 2021, a date certain has not yet been set.




SOURCES:


https://apnews.com/article/shootings-florida-school-shootings-parkland-florida-school-shooting-09f2eb0a1c858e91a79afc5fae4f9e6e


https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/florida-high-school-shooting-defendant-hearings-closed-78761618