Hearing to determine if Nikolas Cruz will get inheritance canceled

Parkland school shooter listed as 50 percent beneficiary to mother's estate

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A hearing scheduled Thursday to determine whether Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz may have an inheritance coming in a few years has been canceled.

There was a sign on the door of the courtroom that said the hearing was canceled "at attorney's request."

Broward County's public defender filed a motion last week asking a judge to determine whether Cruz, 19, is indigent.

Cruz was determined indigent by the clerk of court, but defense attorneys have since learned that Cruz "may be a beneficiary in probate matters."

Cruz's mother died Nov. 1 and his father died in 2004.

According to court documents filed Wednesday, Cruz waived his right to act as an administrator for the estate, but he has not waived his 50 percent interest as partial beneficiary.

The documents show that Cruz consented to having family friend Rocxanne  Deschamps serve as administrator for the estate. Cruz lived with Deschamps briefly after his mother died.

Deschamps filed an amended petition adding Cruz's brother as a second proposed personal representative now that he is 18 years old.

Shortly after the death of his mother, Cruz got into a fight with Deschamps' 22-year-old son at their Lantana home, punching walls, breaking items inside and threatening to return with his gun, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office offense report from Nov. 29.

According to the offense report, Cruz told deputies that "he became upset because he misplaced a picture of his mother who recently passed away."

"He said he was sorry for losing his temper," the report said.

Deschamps' son told deputies that he didn't want Cruz to go to jail because he "has been going through a lot with his loss" and signed a refusal to prosecute form.

The only asset of the estate that is listed in the documents is a 2010 Kia that belonged to Cruz's mother. It remains unclear how much Cruz could potentially inherit.

If Cruz comes into money later, it could be used to pay for his defense.

Cruz could face the death penalty if convicted of 17 counts of premeditated murder in the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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