Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz willing to plead guilty for life sentence, public defender says

by Kerry Sanders and Phil McCausland /  / Updated 
Nikolas Cruz during his arrest after a fatal shooting Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

PARKLAND, Fla. — Accused school-massacre gunman Nikolas Cruz is looking to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of life without parole, his state-appointed defense attorney said Friday.

Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein confirmed to NBC News that Cruz’s attorneys plan to discuss a guilty plea with prosecutors and they are "willing to plead guilty to life without parole."

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Cruz was charged Thursday with 17 counts of premeditated murder for the Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School here. The death penalty hasn't yet been formally put on the table, but the defense lawyers said they're certain prosecutors would seek the death penalty, according to NBC Miami.

"There is only one question: Should this young man live or should he die by execution?" Finkelstein told the Sun-Sentinel. He said no one would benefit from "a circus of a trial.'

Related: FBI got tip on alleged Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz in January

Meanwhile, it was revealed earlier Friday that the FBI had received a tip about Cruz being a potential danger six weeks ago, but no one passed along the information to agents in the Miami and the warning wasn't followed up on.

Nikolas Cruz during his arrest after a fatal shooting Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida.

Sanders reported from Parkland, McCausland reported from New York

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.