A judge on Wednesday delayed until April proceedings to determine the sentencing of the gunman who has pleaded guilty to murdering 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school in 2018.
Jurors during the phase that had earlier been scheduled to start later this month will hear testimony from scores of witnesses to help them decide whether to sentence Nikolas Cruz, 23, to death or life in prison for Florida's deadliest school shooting.
Cruz wore a face mask and thick glasses as he sat in Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer's courtroom on Wednesday. Scherer agreed to the prosecution's request to push back the start of what was expected to be a months-long process.
Jury selection will begin the first week of April to allow lawyers for both sides more time to prepare witnesses, many of them mental-health experts. Lawyers were asked to keep the judge apprised of any need to delay it even further.