By Kevin Deutsch
A Broward judge approved a request by lawyers for Nikolas Cruz to film the crime scene at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where Cruz has admitted to killing 17 people and injuring 17 others, court records show.
A professional production company was slated to begin filming at the site Sunday and continue on Tuesday and Wednesday, the records show, more than three years since the Feb. 14, 2018 massacre.
“The parties shall coordinate with each other to ensure that proper security and safeguards are in place such that the integrity of the crime scene is maintained,” Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer wrote in her order approving the filming.
The development comes as prosecutors and Cruz’s lawyers prepare for his death penalty trial, likely to begin later this year.
Cruz’s lawyers won access for the film crew to work inside the school’s 1200 building on June 11, which has been closed by Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies to preserve the crime scene.
The defense argued that filming the crime scene in its current state was necessary to prepare for trial, while prosecutors argued it would place a serious burden on BSO.
Rejecting their request to film, the defense argued, could cause the case to be tried again on appeal.
Cruz, now 22, faces 17 counts of capital murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder.
A not guilty plea has been entered on his behalf, though Cruz’s lawyers have said he would plead guilty if prosecutors reversed their decision to seek the death penalty.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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