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Judge postpones penalty trial for Parkland school gunman

FILE - Law enforcement officers block off the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School...
FILE - Law enforcement officers block off the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 15, 2018, in Parkland, Fla., following the deadly shooting at the school.(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 3:33 PM EST
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A judge has postponed the penalty trial for Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz to Feb. 21.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said both parties requested more time to prepare experts for the trial, which had been scheduled to start on Jan. 4.

Cruz pleaded guilty in October to the February 2018 killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Jurors will now decide in February whether he is sentenced to death or to life without parole.

The trial has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and arguments over what evidence and testimony will be permitted.

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