Cruz defense seeks more witnesses in Parkland shooting

Curt Anderson
AP Legal Affairs Writer

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Lawyers for Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz want to interview potentially hundreds of witnesses that prosecutors have placed off limits.

The Cruz lawyers asked a judge Wednesday to allow additional interviews of some of more than 450 witnesses rather than relying on written statements or other documents. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer agreed to allow only one to be interviewed so far, saying the effort was premature.

Defense attorneys already have about 170 civilian and 90 law enforcement top-level witnesses to interview. That process has yet to start.

Nineteen-year-old Cruz is charged with killing 17 people and wounding 17 others in the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. His lawyers say he would plead guilty in exchange for life in prison, but prosecutors reject that.