FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A judge ordered the brother of confessed Parkland school gunman Nikolas Cruz to stay away from Broward County, and slapped him with a huge bond for allegedly trespassing on the school where the Valentines Day massacre occurred.
Zachary Cruz, 18, is charged with trespassing onto the same school his brother is accused of shooting and killing 17 people last month.
In court Tuesday afternoon, his attorney said a bond for that charge is usually $25 and the court was giving him an ‘entirely disproportional’ punishment.
“He is being held because of who is related to, not because of anything he did,“ said defense attorney Joseph Kimok.
This is not Cruz’s first brush with the law.
In court Monday, prosecutors told the judge that he pled to three cases in Broward juvenile court in 2016 on charges of grand theft, criminal mischief and petit theft.
While prosecutors were asking for a $750,000 bond, the judge set Cruz’s bond at $500,000.
Judge Kim Mollica said Cruz had “no legitimate business at the school.”
The judge made reference to the trauma that the community has gone through in setting the high bond.
The judge also ordered Cruz to wear an ankle monitor at all times, be at least a mile away from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and 500 feet away from any other schools.
The judge also ordered him to stay away from Broward County altogether except for court appearances and ordered he undergo a mental evaluation.
The Broward sheriffs office announced Tuesday afternoon that it will use Florida’s new gun law to obtain a warrant to search the home Zachary Cruz was living in near Lake Worth, and seize any weapons they may find.
Earlier in the day, he posted the $25 bond which corresponds to a trespassing charge. Despite that, a hold was placed on his bond and later changed to the high amount ruled by the judge.
Cruz was arrested Monday after he was caught on the grounds of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He’s being held in the same jail where his brother is locked up, indicted on 17 charges of first-degree murder and 17 charges of attempted murder.
In court, Tuesday Assistant State Attorney Sarahnell Murphy Cruz had admitted going to Douglas High three times since the shooting.
The prosecutor also recounted conversations Zachary Cruz had with his brother during jail visitation since the massacre.
“He has been heard and observed discussing how popular his brother is now, that his face is everywhere, and his name is national. There is discussion of starting some penpal or fan club,” Sarahnell told the judge.
Zachary Cruz was caught skateboarding on campus, according to his arrest report. It appears this is not the first time Cruz been warned about trespassing on campus and during his encounter with a Broward Sheriff’s he made mention of his brother’s deadly shooting.
Cruz reportedly told the deputy he unlawfully entered the school property to reflect on the school shooting and to “soak it in.”
Earlier this month, CNN reported that after the shootings, Zachary Cruz said he regretted bullying his older brother and thought he might have been able to prevent the school shooting.
The sheriff’s office said Cruz committed the crime of trespassing on school grounds after prior warnings by school officials to refrain from entering the school campus.
Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie said Cruz did not get through locked gates or doors to enter the school, despite what was indicated in the police report. Runcie told CBS4 that school gates are locked during school hours, but left unlocked after classes are let out to allow students and others access to after-school events. Cruz entered the campus about 4:30 p.m.
Runcie said a staff member quickly recognized Zachary cruise Monday afternoon and alerted police. There were four deputies on the campus.