Lawsuit against Dog the Bounty Hunter reveals details about Nikolas Cruz’s supporter in court

Richard Moore sits in court during the second day of jury selection in the penalty phase of Nikolas Cruz's case. (Wade Hughes/Local 10 News)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The man who entered the Broward County courthouse with a bodyguard to show support to the Parkland school shooter on Tuesday and who had a deposition in the case on Wednesday was a party in a lawsuit against a reality television star.

Richard Moore told reporters he didn’t condone the Feb. 14, 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but he was there because Zachary Cruz, Nikolas Cruz’s 21-year-old brother, had asked him to.

Moore told reporters that Zachary Cruz lives with him in Virginia. A civil complaint shows more details about the nature of their relationship and Zachary Cruz’s inability to get away from his brother’s shadow after moving out of Florida.

“Cruz was subjected to interrogation about his relationship with his brother, even though the grand jury was in Virginia and would have zero authority to investigate the Parkland shooting,” the lawsuit alleges.

Zachary Cruz, Richard Moore, and Michael Donovan filed the complaint against Duane Chapman, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, a former A&E reality television star from Colorado, and 12 others in October in Virginia.

They described him in their lawsuit as “a disgraced reality TV star who believes he has a pass to use racial epithets as he hunts down minorities for profit.”

The lawsuit states that Moore is married to Donovan and they “raise” Zachary as their son since he left Florida after the 2018 school shooting at 17. They accused Dog the Bounty Hunter of reporting that Zachary Cruz was “kidnapped, drugged, imprisoned and exploited.”

Dog the Bounty Hunter allegedly set up a team to include a former FBI special agent, six law enforcement officers, a manager at Shenandoah Valley Social Services, and his daughter in an effort to place Zachary Cruz into a conservatorship, according to the lawsuit, which was dismissed in December.

Moore and Donovan co-own Nexus Services Inc., a Virginia-based company that offers services to immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The lawsuit alleges Donovan runs a legal program that has filed complaints against law enforcement in Virginia.

In December, a federal grand jury in Roanoke, Virginia, accused Moore of employment tax fraud as executive vice president of Nexus Services Inc. From 2015 to 2020, Moore allegedly did not pay the Internal Revenue Service about $1.5 million in payroll taxes that had been withheld from Nexus employees’ paychecks.

Moore is facing 10 counts of willfully failing to pay employment taxes. If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison.

Zachary and Nikolas Cruz’s adoptive father, Roger Cruz, died of a heart attack in 2004 and their adoptive mother, Lynda Cruz, died of pneumonia in 2017. They shared a biological mother, ex-felon Brenda Woodard, who died of cancer last year.

Read the complaint against Dog the Bounty Hunter

Read the complaint against Shenandoah Valley Social Services

Read the notice of dismissal

Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Kerry Weston contributed to this report.


About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.