Finances of Parkland school shooting gunman to be examined at hearing

Wednesday, MSD gunman Nikolas Cruz offered in court to donate money left to him by his late mother's estate into a fund for the shooting victims.

"Whatever money he is entitled to, he does not want that money", defense attorney Melisa McNeill said.

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.

A teacher from the Florida high school where 17 people were shot dead two months ago has been arrested after leaving his gun in a public toilet.

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", Mr Finkelstein said.

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"Let it go to those who have been hurt, period", another member of his legal team, Howard Finkelstein, asked the judge.

Cruz's mother died last November and he is set to inherit $800,000 from a trust fund when he turns 22, reports said.

He also has Microsoft stock that was worth $2,227 as of Tuesday and $353 in a Wells Fargo bank account. A statement shows one annuity included a deposit of more than $3,333 into Cruz's account a year ago, but he does not have access to the money at this time, his attorney said.

Cruz was previously declared indigent. Cruz's prison commissary account contains $669, his defense told the court. "If we go to trial, the victims' families will be connected to the person that destroyed their life".

Simovitch, who was retained by Nikolas Cruz as the probate attorney for the estate of his mother, is asking the court to appoint an independent personal representative. The judge's decision on whether Cruz can afford private counsel is significant in a case that could last years and is expected to be one of the most expensive in Broward County history.

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.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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