Parkland High School Shooter Penalty Phase Trial Could Take 6 Months

Parkland High School Shooter Penalty Phase Trial Could Take 6 Months Parkland High School Shooter Penalty Phase Trial Could Take 6 Months Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz signs a document while seated at the defense table at the Broward County Courthouse on Oct. 20, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Amy Beth Bennett-Pool/Getty)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 31 March 2022 10:35 AM

The penalty phase in the case of confessed Parkland, Florida, high school shooter Nikolas Cruz could take up to six months.

Assistant state attorney Jeff Marcus, in a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday, told Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer the penalty phase trial could run through early September, according to Local 10 television news in South Florida.

Jury selection in the case is set to start Monday, according to CBS 12 News.

Cruz pleaded guilty in October to the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after initially pleading not guilty. He had killed 17 people in the rampage.

Because prosecutors have said they would seek the death penalty, his change of plea will open a penalty phase in which a jury will decide whether he should be sentenced to life in prison or death.