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Parkland school shooting suspect can’t be called ‘animal,’ judge says

FILE- In this Feb. 14, 2018 file photo, parents wait for news after a shooting at Marjory...
FILE- In this Feb. 14, 2018 file photo, parents wait for news after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Nikolas Cruz, a former student, was charged with multiple counts of premeditated murder.(AP Photo/Joel Auerbach, File)
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 10:09 AM MST
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A judge says a former student accused of murdering 17 people at a Florida high school cannot be called “animal” or “that thing” during his upcoming trial.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer ruled Friday that it’s impossible to create a complete list of words prosecutors and witnesses won’t be allowed to use to describe Nikolas Cruz.

She sided with his lawyers in ruling out derogatory terms when he’s tried for the 2018 killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.

But she rejected a defense request that Cruz not be called “school shooter,” “killer” or “murderer.”

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