Cruz can’t afford private attorney in school shooting case: defense


Nikolas Cruz appeared at a court hearing April 11


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Public defenders of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz say he should continue to be represented at taxpayer expense because he likely doesn’t have the assets to pay a private lawyer for a multi-million dollar case.

The Broward County Public Defender’s office urged a judge Wednesday to classify Cruz as indigent despite evidence he could have access to $30,000 or more. They say that’s far too little to hire a lawyer for a massive case that could take years to litigate.

Attorneys for Cruz told the court that he wants to donate any money received from his mother’s estate to any organization chosen by the family of shooting victims “that would facilitate healing in our community.”

The judge plans a ruling by April 27.

Cruz is charged with killing 17 people and wounding 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the Feb. 14 mass shooting. He faces the death penalty if convicted. His lawyers say he would plead guilty if the death penalty is waived.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Categories: National, US & World News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *