As trial nears, hearing set in Florida school shooting case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — As his death penalty trial draws closer, a hearing is set for Florida school shooting defendant Nikolas Cruz in the 2018 massacre that killed 17 people.

The hearing Wednesday likely concerns the setting of timelines leading up to the planned January trial of the 21-year-old Cruz. It also could involve a discussion of the possible use of the insanity defense.

Although Cruz has pleaded not guilty, his lawyers say he would admit to the crimes in exchange for a life prison sentence. Prosecutors say they are pursuing the death penalty.

Cruz is accused of the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He faces 17 first-degree murder charges and 17 attempted murder charges.

Jury selection in his trial is set to begin Jan. 27.

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