AP

Judge: School officer who hid during shooting facing charges

Aug 19, 2021, 6:16 PM | Updated: 7:21 pm

Former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson who was on duty during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High...

Former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson who was on duty during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018 and his lawyer Mark Eiglarsh (not pictured) appeared in court Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The former school resource officer accused of hiding during a South Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead said after a hearing Wednesday that he never would have sat idle if he had known people were being killed. (Rafael Olmeda/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

(Rafael Olmeda/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The former school resource officer accused of hiding during a South Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead will have to convince a jury that he wasn’t criminally negligent, a judge ruled Thursday.

Broward Circuit Judge Martin Fein declined to dismiss the child negligence charges against former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Peterson, 58, had worked as a school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Nikolas Cruz, who was 19 at the time of the February 2018 shooting, has been charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors have said that Peterson failed to come to the rescue as Cruz was making his way through the school’s hallways. The law that Peterson is accused of breaking specifically applies to caregivers, but defense attorneys argued during a hearing Wednesday that a law enforcement officer doesn’t fit the legal definition of a caregiver.

Prosecutors are arguing that school resources officers are inherently different from other law enforcement officers and should be considered caregivers.

Fein ruled that a jury can decide whether a school resource officer should be considered a caregiver and noted that a jury instruction will be included to that effect.

Cruz faces the death penalty if convicted in the Valentine’s Day 2018 massacre in which 17 people were slain and 17 others were wounded. Cruz’s lawyers have said he would plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors are insisting that his fate be decided by a jury trial.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

1 day ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

2 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

10 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

10 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

12 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Judge: School officer who hid during shooting facing charges