Parkland school shooter accused, Nikolas Cruz wants to donate his inheritance - which could run to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more - to the bereaved families and survivors of his attack, his lawyers said Wednesday.
"We should definitely launch a campaign to persuade the governor, for those districts who do not want to arm their employees, that they give us the money to keep kids safe", said board member Robin Bartleman. "He would like that money donated to an organization that the victims families believe would be able to facilitate the healing in our community".
A Wednesday afternoon hearing will determine whether Cruz can afford to hire his own attorneys to defend him.
Cruz's wealth now consists of 24 Microsoft stocks worth about $2,200 from which he receives dividends, and he is entitled to $25,000 from his mother's life insurance, which he has not yet obtained.
Public defender Howard Finkelstein told Broward County Judge Elizabeth Scherer to let the funds "go to those who have been hurt". "From that will flow a myriad of legal problems".
Cruz, 19, has been represented at taxpayer expense by a Broward County public defender since the February 14 shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Florida passed a new law, the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, named after the coach at Stoneman Douglas who died while protecting students, that allows certain school staff members to carry a firearm.
If Cruz has access only to the $25,000 check and the money in his accounts, then there is no way that would cover two or three years of expenses in a capital murder case, Finkelstein told the court.
The judge is expected to rule on that by Friday, April 27.
"It's best that they receive it rather than an attorney", he said.
Cruz's defense team has said there is no question he did it, and he's willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty. An Emmis Communications spokeswoman said in an email that it closed last month on the sale of the station to Entercom. "We will put the victims' families through another hell".