Suspected Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz hired a lawyer in December to try to obtain his $800,000 inheritance just two months before the alleged attack, according to court records.
Cruz, 19, retained attorney Audra Simovitch on December 13 to obtain his share of his late adoptive mother Lynda Cruz’s estate, according to a court order handed down by Broward County Probate Division Judge Charles Greene, the New York Post reported.
Greene allowed Simovitch to meet with Cruz while he spends his time in the county jail, where he is booked on multiple charges of first-degree murder in connection with the February 14 shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Greene also ruled that the Broward County’s Public Defender’s Office, which is representing Cruz for his criminal case, should not tamper with Simovitch’s meetings with the teen.
Greene’s order, signed Friday, responded to Simovitch’s emergency petition, accusing the Public Defender’s Office of “obstructing justice” by keeping her from accessing Cruz and suggesting to family friend Roxanne Deschamps that Cruz would “waive his interest” in his mother’s estate.
If Cruz were to gain access to the money, he would likely lose his public defenders. Under Florida law, if he has more than $2,500 worth of assets, not including his home and his vehicle, he would not be eligible to receive free legal representation from the county.