The alleged gunman in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last week in Parkland, Fla., has an inheritance from his adoptive parents worth $800,000, according to news outlets.
But Nikolas Cruz, 19, who now has a public defender at taxpayer expense as his attorney in his murder case, cannot access the money until he turns 22, the Miami Herald reported.
Cruz was charged with 17 counts of murder last Thursday, a day after allegedly opening fire inside the high school with an assault-style rifle.
The large amount of money could prompt a judge to review the estate and possibly make the money accessible for Cruz’s defense.
The Public Defender's Office asked a judge Tuesday to review the inheritance, the Herald reported, to help determine if any of the money can be used in his defense.
The court filing specifically asked the judge to “determine whether the defendant is indigent.”
Cruz is charged with 17 counts of murder in the deaths of 14 students and three adults, including teachers, in the deadly rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day. More than a dozen others were injured in the massacre.
Cruz was caught shortly after the shooting in nearby Coral Springs, Fla., and taken into custody without incident.
He’s jailed without bond.
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com