Parkland teacher arrested after leaving gun in public lavatory

Casey Dawson
April 13, 2018

Nikolas Cruz, dressed in a standard orange jumpsuit, his hands clasped below a table, stared straight down into his lap Wednesday as his team of public defenders argued the admitted killer of 17 had no money to pay for a private attorney.

"He does not want that money". "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 the claim contrasted sharply with earlier statements by Cruz and court records that show the Parkland teen could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Sean Simpson, a science teacher who was present at the Parkland, Fla., high school when a gunman opened fire, killing 17 people, left the gun in a bathroom stall at the Deerfield Beach Pier on Sunday, ABC News reported. She said that $3,333 from the annuity was deposited into Nikolas Cruz's checking account just prior to his mother's death in November, but no similar deposits have appeared since.

If it is monthly, the defendant could have access to "a million dollars", Finkelstein said.

Cruz, 19, had been set to inherit $800,000 from a trust fund when he turns 22.

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Additional assets held by Cruz include a bank account with $353, about $2,200 in Microsoft stock and the dividend payments therefrom, a life insurance check for $25,000, and his prison commissary account containing $669.

Attorney Howard Finkelstein said the probate case involving his late mother's estate has moved slowly, so Cruz's exact net worth can not be determined, but Cruz has one or two annuities.

Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer has not yet made a determination if Cruz has enough resources to disqualify him from having a public defender. A judge will make a decision on the matter later this month.

For the sake of the families involved, Finkelstein told CNN, he would prefer his client take a plea and serve 34 consecutive life sentences, one for each of the counts on which he's been indicted.

"It's best that they receive it rather than an attorney", he said. "We will put the victims' families through another hell".

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