FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Nikolas Cruz, the confessed gunman who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, pleaded guilty to attacking a jail guard nine months after the shooting.

In court on Friday morning, Judge Elizabeth Scherer asked Cruz questions about his state of mind, if he was on any medication or drugs and if it was his sole decision to plead guilty to the charges.

“Do you suffer from any physical or mental illness?” asked Scherer.

“I was told in the past I had like anxiety and depression,” said Cruz.

When Scherer asked if he had been formally diagnosed Cruz said no.

“To count one of the information, attempted aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon, how do you wish to plea?” asked Scherer.

“I plead guilty,” said Cruz.

“Count two, battery on a law enforcement officer, how do you wish to plea?” asked Scherer.

“Guilty,” said Cruz.

“Count three, depriving an officer of means of protection, how do you wish to plea?” asked Scherer.

“Guilty,” said Cruz.

“Count four, attempted use of self-defense weapon against a law enforcement officer, how do you wish to plea, sir?” asked Scherer.

“Guilty,” said Cruz.

“I accept your plea of guilty. I find that you are alert and intelligent, that you understand the nature of the charges, that you understand the consequences of entering into the plea,” Scherer said.

Broward County jail guard Sgt. Raymond Beltran and Cruz fought on Nov. 13, 2018, with a soundless security camera recording the brawl. 

Beltran was overseeing Cruz during his recreation period when they suddenly began to argue. Cruz flipped both middle fingers at Beltran and then charged him, starting a minute-long brawl that ended after Beltran staggered him with a blow to the head.

Beltran told investigators that Cruz attacked him after he asked him to stop dragging his feet and damaging his sandals.

Attorneys for Cruz also told Judge Scherer that he will plead guilty Wednesday to 17 counts of first-degree murder in the February 2018 school shooting. The pleas will come with no conditions and prosecutors still plan to seek the death penalty. That will be decided by a jury, but that trial has not been scheduled.

The four charges Cruz pleaded guilty to on Friday can come with a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, approximately, but he is facing the death penalty in the Parkland massacre case.

It remains unclear whether Scherer will sentence Cruz for the battery case before the penalty phase of the homicide case.

According to 7News legal expert Howard Finkelstein, it will not make a big difference since his guilty plea will allow the prosecution to use the conviction as an aggravating factor in the homicide case.

Finkelstein warns jury selection for the penalty phase will be a long and arduous process because it will be a full trial, not to determine guilt or innocence but whether or not he lives or dies.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox