Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher charged after leaving gun in public restroom

Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher charged after leaving gun in public restroom

Nikolas Cruz, 19, appeared at a hearing in Broward County Circuit Court in Fort Lauderdale to determine whether he is truly indigent or if he stands to collect up to $800,000 from his late mother's estate and various other financial accounts in his name.

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 at Stoneman Douglas High School was arrested this past weekend after deputies said he left a loaded Glock 9mm gun in a public restroom at the Deerfield Beach Pier.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

"If you remove our office at this moment right now, in the highest-profile case in America, the defendant is going to be left without a lawyer", Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein said.

Sherer said she would rule on Cruz's financial status before the next hearing on April. 27, when she said she intends to pick a trial date.

Cruz's wealth now consists of 24 Microsoft stocks worth about $2,200 from which he receives dividends, and he is entitled to $25,000 from his mother's life insurance, which he has not yet obtained.

"Mr. Cruz does not want those funds, whatever money that he is entitled to", McNeill said.

Cruz also has about $669 in his jail account, which has been receiving donations from people around the country.

"I really believe in my soul that the best thing for the families of the victims is to lock him up and throw (away) the key", Finkelstein said. "Mr. Cruz is, in fact, potentially a beneficiary of those funds". "If we go to trial, the victims' families will be connected to the person that destroyed their life. We will put the victims' families through another hell".

When Cruz was asked to enter a plea at a hearing last month, his defense counsel informed the court that he was "standing mute" to the charges and declining to enter a plea, so the judge entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

ABC reported Cruz's attorneys told the court on Wednesday that he was ready to plead immediately.

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