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Prosecutor wants death sentence for Florida high-school shooter

Florida prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, the former student accused of murdering 17 people in a shooting spree last month at a Parkland high school, according to a notice filed in court on Tuesday.

Mr Michael Satz, the state attorney for Broward County, filed the notice with Judge Elizabeth Scherer of his office's intent to seek the death sentence, ahead of a court hearing yesterday.

The notice cited multiple reasons under Florida law for the death penalty. Those included the charges that Cruz "knowingly created a great risk of death" to many people, the shooting was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel," and it was committed in a "cold, calculated and premeditated manner."

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder for the attack on Feb 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which 14 students and three staff died.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, through his spokesman John Tupps, said he supported the death penalty for Cruz, saying the state would hold the accused gunman accountable "to the fullest extent of the law."

After the filing, Cruz's attorneys repeated their offer for Cruz to plead guilty if prosecutors agreed to not pursue the death penalty. - REUTERS

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