Student says heroic janitor saved many lives during shooting
Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz poised for 800,000 inheritance
Nikolas Cruz is facing 17 counts of first-degree murder. Broward County Jail via Assocaited Press
- The Florida shooting suspect is reportedly set to inherit 0,000 after his adoptive mother's death.
- Nikolas Cruz, 19, was set to receive the money after turning 22. But a judge will determine whether he can access the money now and use it to hire a defense attorney.
- Cruz's court proceedings could become expensive if prosecutors decide to pursue the death penalty, and his inheritance could let Broward County taxpayers off the hook.
Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old Florida shooting suspect, is reportedly in line for an 0,000 inheritance after his adoptive mother died in November.
Cruz faces 17 counts of premeditated murder after he allegedly opened fire in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day.
Though Cruz filled out paperwork after his arrest saying he was too poor to afford a lawyer, his public defenders asked a judge on Tuesday to determine whether Cruz truly needs it or if he's able to afford his own defense attorney, The Miami Herald reported.
Cruz was initially barred from receiving the money until he turned 22, but Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer could order Cruz to hire his own attorney, leaving taxpayers off the hook for what could eventually become an expensive death-penalty case.
Alternatively, Cruz's public defenders could charge him for reimbursement whenever he "comes into money," even if the case is over by that point, retired Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Scott Silverman told the Herald.
Cruz's windfall comes after both of his adoptive parents died — Lynda Cruz of respiratory illness late last year, and Roger Cruz of heart failure in 2004.
Lynda Cruz filed a medical malpractice suit against a doctor and a clinic over her husband's medical treatment before his death, the Herald reported.
She settled in 2008, and a court-appointed attorney recommended that the couple's two adoptive children, Nikolas and Zachary Cruz, receive 5,000 to be kept in a trust fund until adulthood, according to the Herald.
Lynda Cruz also sold her Parkland home for 5,000, Broward County property records obtained by the Herald showed.
The family Cruz stayed with after his mother's death also told media they knew about Cruz's potential 0,000 inheritance.
Kimberly and James Snead told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel they recently saw paperwork that they believe shows Cruz was set to be financially comfortable.
"This kid was not hurting for money at any point," Jim Lewis, the Sneads' attorney, told the Herald. "Everyone knows about it.
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