Defense: Nikolas Cruz can't afford private attorney in Fla. school massacre case

Hearing Wednesday For Confessed Parkland School Shooter

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz wants to donate his inheritance to victims of the massacre and help "heal the community". Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The Public Defender's Office has indicated that Cruz is willing to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of life in prison, an outcome they say would spare the victims and their families from having to relive Cruz's rampage with multiple witness accounts and videos taken from surveillance cameras at the school and students' cell phones.

Cruz, 19, is now represented by the Broward Public Defender's Office, which is funded by taxpayers to handle clients who can not afford to hire their own lawyers.

Cruz's mother died last November and he is set to inherit $800,000 from a trust fund when he turns 22, reports said.

Cruz - who was present for the hearing in Fort Lauderdale, which is near Parkland - stared blankly at the floor, his hands and feet cuffed. At a previous hearing, it was stated that Cruz was in a position to receive $37,000 from his late mother's assets.

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"Let it go to those who have been hurt, period", another member of his legal team, Howard Finkelstein, asked the judge.

Investigators have been able to establish that there's $25,000 in life insurance money from Nikolas Cruz's deceased mother that he doesn't now have access to, and a little more than $350 in a Wells Fargo savings account. The source of these funds has not been revealed. "We should have the probate lawyers or the probate judge inform the court how much money is there", Finkelstein said.

But if it is annual, the amount would be insignificant for what "in this moment right now is the highest profile case of America" with costs expected to run into hundreds of thousands dollars, according to his lawyers, excluding civil suits.

His adopted brother, Zachary Cruz, was also in the courtroom, watching from the crowd.

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