Brian Hamacher

Stoneman Douglas Shooting Suspect Goes Before Judge

Nikolas Cruz is facing 17 first-degree murder and 17 attempted murder counts

Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz appeared in court Friday, a day after withdrawing his not guilty plea.

Cruz, 19, appeared before a judge to face 17 counts of attempted murder in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He also faces 17 counts of first-degree murder, for which he previously appeared in court.

Cruz kept his head bowed throughout the appearance before Judge Kim Mollica, who said he would remain behind bars without bond. His attorneys didn't argue against the bond order.

Cruz was formally indicted by a grand jury on the 34 counts on Wednesday. On Thursday, he withdrew his plea of not guilty and changed it to "standing mute." By standing mute, Cruz is pleading neither guilty nor not guilty to the charges.

The public defender's office has said Cruz would plead guilty if prosecutors do not pursue the death penalty, but no decision has been announced on that.

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