A court squabble has erupted over the handling of Nikolas Cruz’s inheritance from his late mother — a fight that could determine whether the school shooter is entitled to be free representation from the public defender or must hire a private lawyer.
Boca Raton attorney Audra Simovitch filed an amended petition in Broward County probate court this week, alleging that Rocxanne Deschamps, a friend of Cruz’s mother who cared for Cruz and his younger brother after their mother died, should not be appointed to represent the estate. Simovitch is asking the court to appoint an independent personal representative.
Simovitch was retained by Nikolas as the probate attorney for the estate of his mother, Lynda Cruz, on Feb. 13 — one day before the Feb. 14 shooting rampage at Majorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Nikolas, 19, walked into the school armed with a semi-automatic rifle and began randomly firing into classrooms, killing 14 students and three educators. He faces 17 counts of murder.
Since the tragedy, Cruz has been represented by the Broward County Public Defender’s Office. His brother, Zachary, 18, lives with Deschamps in Lantana.
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.