The suspect accused of killing 17 people in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February is set to inherit to close to a million dollar, and he wants to the money to go to those affected by the mass shooting.
According to the New York Post, Nikolas Cruz’s attorney Melissa McNeill told a Broward County Judge on Wednesday that Cruz wants to donate his future inheritance.
“Mr. Cruz does not want those funds, whatever money that he is entitled to,” McNeill reportedly said.
“He would like that money donated to an organization that the victims’ family believes would be able to facilitate healing in our community or an opportunity to educate our community about the issues that have ripened over the last four or five months.”
Wednesday’s hearing was reportedly set to help determine whether Cruz should continue to receive free legal services from a public defender, paid for by taxpayer money.
Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer has not yet made a determination if Cruz has enough resources to disqualify him from having a public defender. According to the Sun Sentinel, Cruz at one point had $12,000 in a bank account, but as of April 5 that number had dwindled to a few hundred dollars.
Cruz, 19, had been set to inherit $800,000 from a trust fund when he turns 22. His mother Lynda Cruz died in November. Cruz and his brother Zachary also stand to receive a $25,000 life insurance policy payout and shared of Microsoft stock.
But McNeill, Cruz’s attorney, said in court on Wednesday that Cruz does not have access to any of those funds, the New York Post reports.
According to the Sun Sentinel, another member of the legal team argued that Cruz does not have the means to pay for a private lawyer.
“One of our concerns is that a private lawyer may come in… and bill taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars,” public defender Howard Finkelstein reportedly said in court.
Finkelstein also said that if Cruz’s inheritance, should he be entitled to it, is paid out in monthly installments, the total funds could amount to a million dollars.
“Let it go to those who have been hurt, period,” Finkelstein said.
[Feature image: Nikolas Cruz/Taimy Alvare for South Florida Sun-Sentinel via Associated Press]