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US judge sentences Parkland school shooter to life in prison without parole

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Nov 03, 2022 - 02:09 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – Nikolas Cruz, the gunman who killed 17 people in a shooting attack on a high school in Parkland, Florida in 2018, was formally sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without parole.

A jury recommended the death penalty but later issued a verdict of life in prison with no parole in mid-October, which came at the end of a three-month trial.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer followed the jury’s recommendation, according to NBC News.

The sentencing came a day after the families of the 17 children and staff members delivered emotional testimonies, with some cursing the 24-year-old shooter and others calling him a coward.

His defense argued that Cruz is mentally ill and his condition led him to the rampage in which he used a semi-automatic rifle at his former school, said NBC News.

Cruz, then 19, opened fire on students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, killing 17 people and injuring another 17. He pleaded guilty in October last year to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.

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