Taxpayers still on the hook for Parkland school shooter’s defense

The Parkland school shooter may be coming into a $432,000 inheritance, but taxpayers still will be on the hook to pay for the defense at his upcoming murder trial, a Broward judge ruled Friday.

Nikolas Cruz, 20, will probably not be able to access the money his late mother left in an annuity account when she passed away in November 2017, and even if he did, it won’t be enough to cover the expense of defending him against 17 murder and 17 attempted murder charges, Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer ruled.

“The Public Defender has not demonstrated that the defendant has access to, possession of and the ability to use the monies from the annuities at this time,” Scherer said in a ruling issued Friday morning.

Cruz also has been sued by family members of some of the people he killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018.

Cruz faces the death penalty if convicted, and death penalty cases are notoriously time consuming and expensive.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates., 954-356-4457, Twitter @SSCourts and @rolmeda