The sentencing trial of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is being delayed as Hurricane Ian threatens to slam Florida.
Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer postponed the trial — which was expected to continue through the rest of the week — until Monday.
The state began making its rebuttal case on Tuesday and was expected to resume its arguments on Wednesday, Thursday and a half-day Friday. However the Broward County Courthouse where Cruz’s trial is underway will be closed at least on Wednesday and Thursday due to “the potential impact of Hurricane Ian,” the county clerk’s website states.
The state is seeking the death penalty in the case after Cruz pleaded guilty in October to slaughtering 17 victims with an AR-15 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
His attorneys are fighting for his life to be spared by a jury, citing his troubled upbringing.
Meanwhile, the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the Capitol also postponed its Wednesday hearing over the looming threat of Ian.
“In light of Hurricane Ian bearing down on parts of Florida, we have decided to postpone tomorrow’s proceedings,” the committee’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, and vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney, wrote in a joint statement Tuesday. “We’re praying for the safety of all those in the storm’s path.”
The chairs didn’t immediately provide a new date for the highly anticipated hearing.
“The Select Committee’s investigation goes forward and we will soon announce a date for the postponed proceedings,” they said.
The hearing is expected to be the committee’s last public hearing before it releases a final report with its findings on the events leading up to the Capitol riot.