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This is why accused Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz might lose his public defender

Image source: TheBlaze

Accused Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz attempted to obtain a reported $800,000 inheritance through an attorney in the months leading up to the shooting, according to the New York Post.

What's more is that if Cruz does receive an $800,000 inheritance while incarcerated, he could stand to lose his public defender.

Why does this matter?

Florida state law stipulates that if Cruz has — or receives — more than $2,500 in assets beyond a home or vehicle, he would no longer be entitled to having the representation of a free defense lawyer.

He now faces trial in the murders of 17 people as a result of the deadly February shooting.

Should Cruz receive the reported $800,000 inheritance, he would presumably have to hire his own lawyer.

What are the details?

The Post reported that Cruz hired a lawyer on Dec. 13 to receive an $800,000 inheritance, according to a Broward County Probate Division court order.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, reportedly hired attorney Audra Simovitch to obtain the inheritance, which reportedly is due to him as a result of the November death of his mother, Lynda Cruz.

The reason Nikolas Cruz hired a lawyer to obtain the money in December is reportedly because he isn't due to receive the bulk of his mother's estate until he turns 22, according to Kimberly and James Snead, who housed Cruz in the months prior to the deadly shooting.

It is not immediately clear why Nikolas Cruz would be unable to inherit the $800,000 until he turns 22, since Cruz's mother died without a will, but the Sneads told the New York Post that they had seen "paperwork" indicating that Cruz could not inherit until he turned 22.

According to the outlet, Broward County Probate Division Judge Charles Greene has allowed Simovitch to meet with Cruz  during his incarceration, and on Friday ordered that the Broward County Public Defender's Office should not try to interfere in meetings between Cruz and Simovitch.

Simovitch reportedly filed an emergency petition to gain access to Cruz. According to the outlet, Simovitch accused the Public Defender's Office of obstructing justice by preventing her from meeting with Cruz, and by purportedly intimating that her client "might wish to waive his interest in [his mother's] estate," as family friend Rocxanne Deschamps reportedly filed to control Cruz's inheritance in the days after the school shooting.

Simovitch reportedly told the Post that she was planning to meet with Cruz "probably before the first of March," noting that she planned to determine whether her client still wanted to receive the purported inheritance.

"That's one of the reasons I need access to him," Simovitch told the outlet.

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