Nikolas Cruz charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder

Posted at 4:25 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 12:46:45-05

Parkland, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - A grand jury in Florida has returned a 34 county indictment against Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz. 

He's charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the first degree and 17 counts of attempted murder in the first degree.

Cruz walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th with an AR-15 and started shooting, killing 17 people.

Police say Cruz confessed to the mass murder.

The couple Cruz had been living with was in court on Wednesday after being subpoenaed to testify.

An attorney for the Snead family says they were just trying to help Cruz when they took him in.

"They tried to do the right thing," Attorney Jim Lewis said. "They tried to provide a home to this young man who lost his mother, didn't have a home, and nobody saw this coming." 

Cruz's public defender says he will plead guilty if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table, which would mean a life prison sentence.

The Broward County State Attorney has not announced a decision on the death penalty.

Cruz remains behind bars in the Broward County Jail, segregated from the other inmates for the time being.