Judge in Florida school shooter case refuses to step down

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The judge overseeing the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz has rejected a motion by his attorneys that she step down. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer turned down the request on Monday without comment. Cruz’s attorneys had accused Scherer of being biased after she chewed them out last week when they unexpectedly rested their case. They had called only 25 of their 80 expected witnesses. That meant prosecutors weren’t ready to begin their rebuttal case, causing a two-week hiatus. The 23-year-old Cruz pleaded guilty to the 2018 shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead. The trial is to determine if he is sentenced to death or life without parole.