Broward judge eyes ‘tentative’ 2020 start for trial in Parkland massacre

The judge overseeing the case of confessed Parkland killer Nikolas Cruz asked attorneys on Thursday to consider January 2020 as the “tentative” goal for a trial date.

Cruz faces the death penalty on charges of murdering 17 students and staffers, while wounding 17 more, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on Feb. 14, 2018. It was the worst school shooting in Florida history, and led to a renewed national debate over gun control.

Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer held a brief calendar call hearing Thursday afternoon with prosecutors and defense attorneys handling the Cruz case. She said attorneys should consider preparing pretrial motions for September or October.

“I just ask that you keep these dates in mind as a goal moving forward,” Scherer said.

Miami Herald staff writer David Ovalle contributed to this report

Martin Vassolo covers the politics and government of Miami Beach for the Miami Herald. He began working for the Herald in January 2018 after attending the University of Florida, where he served as the editor-in-chief of The Independent Florida Alligator. Previously, he was a general assignment reporter on the Herald’s metro desk and a political reporting intern.