1 Fort Lauderdale
Local Search & News & Reviews
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is withdrawing his not guilty plea and is instead “standing mute” in the face of 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, his lawyers said in court papers filed Thursday morning.
The legal strategy of standing mute is rarely employed and has the same immediate effect as a not guilty plea — the judge on the case will most likely enter a not guilty plea on the defendant’s behalf when he is formally arraigned, a hearing that has not yet been scheduled.
But by withdrawing the not guilty plea, the Broward Public Defender’s Office sends a signal consistent with what they’ve said since the early days of the case.