Nikolas Cruz, who admitted killing 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school, is maintaining he has multiple personalities, a prosecutor claims.
"The defendant is referring to another personality as 'hatred' and he’s the one who committed these crimes so that obviously could be a multi-personality defense," Jeff Marcus, assistant state attorney said in court on Thursday, according to Local 10 News.
Cruz pleaded guilty in October to the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after initially pleading not guilty.
Because prosecutors have said they would seek the death penalty, his change of plea will open a penalty phase in which a jury will decide whether he should be sentenced to life in prison or death. Juries in Florida determine whether to impose a death sentence.
Thursday's hearing was called to hear a defense motion to limit the state to using just one expert witness in the penalty phase.
"Make a list of the medical fields, and then I will determine which fields are specific enough that warrant experts," Broward Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherer told both sides.
The death penalty trial is set to begin in April.
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