No Contempt Charge for Broward Sheriff’s Office Over Parkland School Shooter’s Records: Judge

What to Know

  • Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer also says the sheriff's office may not have been aware of restrictions she had placed on the records.

A judge has denied an effort by defense attorneys to hold the Broward Sheriff's Office in contempt of court for releasing suspect Nikolas Cruz's medical records to a state investigative commission.

The order dated Tuesday by Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer says the records release was limited, not done in bad faith and was an isolated incident. Scherer also says the sheriff's office may not have been aware of restrictions she had placed on the records.

Cruz's medical records were provided last summer to the commission created to investigate the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in which 17 people were killed. They have not been made public.

Defense lawyers wanted Scherer to hold a hearing on whether the sheriff's office should be found in contempt of court for a violating her previous order limiting release of the records.

Cruz, 20, faces the death penalty. His lawyers have offered a guilty plea in return for life in prison.

Meanwhile, a BSO detective says the former deputy entrusted to protect the school gave an initial statement filled with inaccuracies about his actions.

Detective John Curcio told investigators that ex-deputy Scot Peterson's story about what happened contained many inconsistencies when compared with video evidence.

Curcio is the lead investigator in the criminal case against Cruz. His statement released Tuesday was given to Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents working with the state commission.

The commission has found Peterson was derelict in his duty for not confronting the gunman. FDLE also has launched a criminal investigation into the response. Peterson's lawyer declined comment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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