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Judge declines to dismiss case against Nikolas Cruz on charges he attacked guard

Judge declines to dismiss case against Nikolas Cruz on charges he attacked guard
Nikolas Jacob Cruz faces charges of police battery for allegedly attacking a Broward County jail guard in 2018. File Photo courtesy of Broward County Sheriff | License Photo

Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A Florida judge on Thursday declined to dismiss charges that confessed school shooter Nikolas Cruz attacked a jail guard in 2018.

The battery case is separate from charges he faces for the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 people dead.

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Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer declined the defense's motions to dismiss the case and to suppress video evidence based on allegations of violations of due process.

"There is not a scintilla of evidence in this case that anything done in this case with regard to the preservation of video was a flagrant and deliberate act done with the intention of prejudicing the defense," Scherer said in her ruling, according to WPLG-TV in Miami.

The surveillance video appears to show Cruz extending his middle finger to Broward County jail guard Sgt. Raymond Beltran before rushing at him. Beltran said he had told Cruz to stop dragging his sandals.

The video shows the two men scuffling, with Cruz attempting to grab Beltran's Taser. Cruz eventually complies with commands and Beltran handcuffs him.

WSVN-TV in Miami reported jury selection in the trial was scheduled to begin Monday.

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Cruz's murder trial for the mass shooting is set to take place later this year.

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