Nikolas Cruz appeared in court Wednesday revealing a newly-shaved head as his lawyers attempted to delay the start of the trial. Facing 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, Cruz's legal team asked for the pending trial to be pushed back beyond the end of January, according to The Daily Mail. Originally set for a Dec. 19 start date, defense lawyers claim the case is moving too swiftly, which could increase the risk of legal errors.
Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, who is accused of killing 17 classmates, appears in court with his head shaved https://t.co/QoEfeUtoQ3— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) December 11, 2019
The judge is currently considering the request. When a start date is set, the 21-year-old suspect will stand trial for the shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine's Day last year. If convicted, he could face the death penalty, though his lawyers have stated he would plead guilty if he was given a life sentence instead.
Broward State Attorney Mike Satz, the leading prosecutor, is not in favor of the delay, saying at the hearing that "we just can't wait until the last minute."
A year after the shooting occurred, which claimed the lives of 17 people and injured 17 others, a documentary titled Parkland: Inside Building 12 was released from filmmaker Charlie Minn and co-produced by Dreamscape Media.
"Six minutes and 20 seconds. That's all it took for a normal school day to become a national nightmare," the director said. "For the survivors, for the victims, and for their loved ones, it's a tragedy we must never forget — and we made this film in their honor."
More than just the stories of those who survived, Parkland: Inside Building 12 also looks at the political and social activism that some survivors thrust themselves into as a result, leading up to the March For Our Lives. It's also notably absent of footage of Cruz, as Minn aimed for a more empowering message.
Back in January, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended and replaced Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for his response to the Parkland shooting after he'd refused to resign. The governor stated Israel "demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership" the day of the shooting.
"The families of the victims deserve accountability," Desantis said at the time. "It is my job as Governor to ensure that the safety of our local communities, especially the safety of our children, is paramount. Government officials must be held accountable for their actions, and/or inactions."