After the tragic murder of 17 Parkland students and staff, the country was left reeling in disarray as leaders and activists scrambled to find a solution to the mass murders afflicting schools in the United States.
<a href="https://youtu.be/dGAKcVHycbU">Watch Nikolas Cruz full arraignment here.</a>
19-year-old Nikolas Cruz became America's most hated teen when he went into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School armed with an assault rifle and gunned down his former classmates and teachers alike.
After a first-appearance, on February 16, Cruz appeared Wednesday for his arraignment in a Florida courtroom. The teen killer sat with his head bowed for the entire proceeding while his public defenders hashed out financial details surrounding his indigent status.
Prosecutors announced they would be seeking the death penalty Tuesday. Cruz' attorneys responded by offering to plead guilty to all 34 counts he has been charged with in exchange for life in prison and not the death penalty.
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Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer accepted a not guilty plea on behalf of Cruz so that the case could move forward despite the fact that he does not deny guilt. Scherer also ruled on a motion filed on behalf of the victims in the case that would prevent the Public Defender's Office from representing Cruz.
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Scherer said she would have to review the motion after determining whether the attorney who filed it actually has the legal standing to do so. The Public Defender's Office is only legally permitted to represent those defendants who cannot afford a private attorney and since questions still remain about an inheritance from his mother, Cruz may be forced to hire his own private attorney.
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