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Nikolas Cruz has pleaded guilty to murder in the 2018 massacre that left 17 dead at a Parkland, Florida, high school. Cruz entered his plea Wednesday after answering a long list of questions from Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer aimed at confirming his mental competency. Cruz was charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for those wounded in the Feb. 14, 2018, attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A penalty trial will determine if the 23-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student will receive a sentence of death or life in prison. The judge hopes testimony can begin in January.

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A Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to his role in the breach of the U.S. Capitol last January. Kevin Loftus entered the plea to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. The 53-year-old Eau Claire man appeared by video in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Tuesday after earlier reaching a plea deal with prosecutors. The misdemeanor carries up to six months in prison, but the agreement does not recommend a sentence. Loftus is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 31. At least four other Wisconsin men also face charges for entering the Capitol that day.