The alleged gunman in the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida wants to give his inheritance to the help victims, ABC News reported Wednesday.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, appeared at a hearing in Broward County Circuit Court in Fort Lauderdale to determine whether he is truly indigent or if he stands to collect up to $800,000 from his late mother’s estate and various other financial accounts in his name.
It was previously determined that Cruz could not afford his own attorney and the Broward County Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent him. Since he was arrested on Feb. 14 in the killing of 17 people at the Florida high school, information has surfaced that he might stand to inherit a small fortune.
Judge Elizabeth Scherer is attempting to determine if the public defender’s office should be dismissed from representing Cruz if he has the means to afford a private attorney.
“Just so the court is aware, Mr. Cruz does not want those funds,” his attorney, Melissa McNiell of the public defenders office, told Judge Scherer during the hearing. “He would like that money donated to an organization that the victims families believe would be able to facilitate the healing in our community.”
But it remains unclear whether Cruz does have any funds from his mother’s estate coming to him.
“That amount of money would already be gone,” he said.
Judge Elizabeth Scherer said she would make a decision on Cruz’s indigence before April 27, the next court date in the case.