A jury has reached a verdict in the sentencing trial of Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland school shooter, who killed 17 people and injured 17 more in 2018.
RELATED: Parkland shooter defense scolded by judge
Victims' family members seated in the gallery scowled, shook their heads or held them in their hands as circuit judge Elizabeth Scherer read the recommendation Thursday. The 12-person jury came to a decision after seven hours of deliberations over two days, ending a three-month trial where stories of the victims' execution were retold in graphic detail.
Scherer will formally issue the life sentences Nov. 1. Relatives, along with the students and teachers Cruz wounded, will be given the opportunity to speak at the sentencing hearing.
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Cruz. But under Florida law, a death sentence requires a unanimous vote on at least one count. While jurors found that the aggravating evidence was sufficient to warrant a possible death penalty for the gunman, at least one believed the mitigating factors outweighed aggravating ones.
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