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Accused Florida school shooter wants to donate his inheritance to survivors
13 April 2018, 01:40 | Marta Robbins
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.
"Whatever money that he's entitled to, 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".
McNeill told the court that Cruz's mother may have also left an annuity behind, but its worth remains up in the air.
In an unusual move, Finkelstein said Cruz was willing to admit guilt and serve 17 consecutive life sentences, well before Broward State Attorney Michael Satz said his office would seek the death penalty.
If it is monthly, the defendant could have access to "a million dollars", Finkelstein said.
"Let it go to those who have been hurt, period", public defender Howard Finkelstein said.
Court records from his late mother's probate case show Nikolas Cruz stands to receive $25,000 from a life insurance policy and up to $800,000 more from her estate, the Sun-Sentinal reported.
Cruz's lawyers had said there may be more available and promised to research exactly how much.
His account now at the Broward County Jail sits at $669.18.
An attorney told 7News he estimates Cruz's defense could cost $2 million. "Mr. Cruz is, in fact, potentially a beneficiary of those funds".
When Cruz was asked to enter a plea at a hearing last month, his defense counsel informed the court that he was "standing mute" to the charges and declining to enter a plea, so the judge entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.
One additional complication is that Cruz is facing lawsuits from the victims' families, that, if successful, would be likely to take the majority, if not all, of his remaining assets. Judge Elizabeth Scherer did not make an immediate ruling.
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