The 19-year-old man accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school in February wants funds from an $800,000 trust left by his late adoptive mother to be donated to charity, a defense attorney said on Wednesday.
The accused shooter, Nikolas Cruz, appeared at a brief hearing in Broward County Court to determine whether he needs a court-appointed lawyer or can afford to fund his own defense through an $800,000 trust left to Cruz and his 18-year-old brother, Zachary.
“He wants that money donated to an organization that he believes would facilitate healing in our community,” defense attorney Melissa McNeil told the court. Judge Elizabeth Scherer did not make an immediate ruling.
The Feb. 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, reignited a long-running U.S. debate on gun rights and sparked a youth movement led by survivors of the attack.
Reporting by Zachary Fagenson, additional reporting by Sharon Bernstein; editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis