Friday, April 26, 2019
The public defenders for the Parkland, Florida shooter suspect, Nikolas Cruz, have asked to withdraw from his defense as their client stands to inherit over $400,000 from his mother's life insurance policy. Lynda Cruz passes away from pneumonia in November 2017, just a few months before the shooting. State law disallows public defenders from working for defendants that can afford their own attorney.
The public defenders disclosed the possibility that Cruz would receive an insurance payout last year, but said at the time that it would likely amount to about $30,000. In the new filing, the defendants said neither they nor Cruz were aware the actual amount would be higher.
Because some of the victim's families have sued Cruz in civil court, a judge could rule that he would not receive the insurance policy pay out and instead have it awarded to them.
See Thomas Barrabi, Parkland, Florida Shooter Could Inherit $432,000; Public Defenders Ask to Withdraw, Fox Business, April 25, 2019.