Virus worries latest hurdle in Florida school shooting case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Concerns about the coronavirus in jail emerged Tuesday as the latest roadblock in the death penalty case against Nikolas Cruz, who is accused in the 2018 massacre that killed 17 people at a Florida high school.

Defense attorneys said at a hearing they want written health safety procedures from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office before Cruz’s lawyers and mental health experts enter the jail to evaluate him. A lawyer for the sheriff’s office said it is working to accommodate those issues.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer asked both sides to work toward a solution and set another status hearing for Dec. 11.

Cruz, 22, is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder in the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. His attorneys have said he will plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors have rejected that offer and insist on a trial.

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