Nikolas Cruz, the teenager who police said opened fire inside a Florida high school earlier this month, killing 17, reportedly hired a lawyer about two months before the rampage in an attempt to acquire his $800,000 inheritance.
The New York Post, citing an order handed down on Dec. 13 by Broward County Probate Division Judge Charles Greene, reported that Cruz tried to retrieve his portion of the estate left behind by his mother, Lynda Cruz, who died of pneumonia in November.
Cruz reportedly signed a retainer agreement with lawyer Audra Simovitch to pursue his share of the estate, the report said. The judge has approved visitation between Simovitch and Cruz while he’s in jail.
The lawyer told the paper that she has yet to meet with him, but hopes to before March. She told the paper one of the reasons she needs to meet with him is to determine whether Cruz still wants his share of the inheritance.
Greene’s ruling was handed down after Simovitch issued a petition claiming she was denied access to Cruz by the Public Defender’s office, and accused it of “obstructing justice,” the paper reported.
Simovitch filed court papers the day after the school shooting-- Feb. 15-- on behalf of Roxanne Deschamps. Deschamps cared for Cruz and his younger brother Zachary after their parents died. The paper reported that Deschamps wants to administer Lynda’s estate.
Court papers reportedly say Deschamps “has an interest” in her longtime friend’s estate because she cares for Zachary. There are reportedly no signs that she could obtain the inheritance for herself, but she could charge a fee for her efforts administering the estate dependent on a judge’s approval. Zachary turned 18 last week, the paper reported.
Cruz told a family friend he believes Deschamps – who reportedly kicked him out of her trailer prior to the shooting over an argument they had about his gun collection -- wants to steal his inheritance, according to The Post.