In court proceedings yesterday, Judge Elizabeth Scherer was briefed on the finances of Nikolas Cruz — specifically his inheritance. Nikolas’s public defender, attorney Howard Finkelstein, told the judge that his client could have a million dollar inheritance from his late mother. Yesterday’s hearing was held to figure out who would end up paying for Nikolas’s trial, taxpayers or Nikolas. But his actual money is in question. There needs to be an investigation into his actual worth, his lawyer stressed.
The public defender for confessed Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz says Cruz wants to donate any money he inherits from his late mother's estate to an organization the victims' families believe can help promote healing. @CBSMiami https://t.co/AJal4qSGCi
— Lauren Pastrana CBS4 (@LaurenPastrana) April 12, 2018
His lawyer said that the probate case will determine how much money he has, the amount of his inheritance, and how much would be split among his brothers, CNN reports. Melisa McNeill — another public defender on the case — said that whatever funds are left after the trial: “He would like that money donated to an organization that the victims’ families believe could facilitate healing in our community,” Melisa said, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Nikolas, who was in the courtroom during the hearing, never spoke. He kept his head down the entire time, several news outlets report. Lawyers discussed various financial accounts pertaining to Nikolas after his mother died, including a $25,000 life insurance check and Microsoft stocks. They also noted that Nikolas received a direct deposit of $3,333, but they’re not sure if that amount is given to him once a year or once a month. At one point Nikolas had more than $12,000 in his bank, but that money is nowhere to be found.
#NRABloodMoney is what started the Parkland communities problems to begin with. Why in the hell would they want to accept the shooter's inheritance money as a gesture toward healing…Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz: Donate my inheritance to victims https://t.co/G2XB87WFYs
— Doreen Winter (@doreen6399) April 12, 2018
Lawyers say the price tag on this case could be “astronomical.”