Parkland school shooting: Possible paths for Nikolas Cruz’s defense

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Following accused school shooter Nikolas Cruz’s first appearance in court on Thursday, his attorney for the hearing, public defender Melisa McNeill told reporters that Cruz is sad, remorseful, and aware of the impact of the shooting on the community.

These statements were empathetic and well-intentioned, but a prosecutor may try to use them against Cruz himself, whose defense options are diminishing as more information emerges about the shooting and his past.

If video and other evidence conclusively identify Cruz as the school shooter, then his attorneys might be forced to consider an insanity defense.




Image: Nikolas Cruz first court appearance

Suspected school shooter Nikolas Cruz makes a video appearance in Broward County court before Judge Kim Theresa Mollica, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Feb. 15, 2018.