Court: Expert jail visits in school shooting are public

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — An appeals court has ruled that the names of medical experts who visit the Florida school shooting defendant in jail are public record.

The 4th District Court of Appeal decision Wednesday concluded that attorneys for 20-year-old Nikolas Cruz could not show why the experts' names should be shielded from disclosure under Florida public records laws.

Cruz's attorneys contended such disclosure threatened his fair trial rights, were a matter of attorney-client privilege and did not fall within the definition of a public record. The appeals court disagreed, siding with a lower court judge's previous ruling.

Cruz faces the death penalty if convicted of killing 17 people and wounding 17 others in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He is expected to stand trial in January.

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