FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Broward judge has given the brother of confessed Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz permission to move to Virginia.
“I’m not going to stop you. I’m sending you to Virginia,” said Judge Mindy Brown during a hearing Friday.
Zachary Cruz, 18, wants to move to Virginia where a full-time job is waiting for him. He was also offered a free apartment for one year in Staunton, Virginia.
Cruz is currently on six months’ probation for skateboarding on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after he had been warned not return.
Cruz violated that probation recently when he was caught driving without a license in Palm Beach. He was asked about that in court.
“Tell me why it is that you drove the car when you had no license and the car wasn’t insured,” asked the prosecutor.
“Because I didn’t want to skate to the skate park,” he replied.
“You understand because it is more convenient is not a reason to break the law,” the prosecutor asked.
“Yes ma’am,” he replied.
Watch the entire hearing here:
Before he was given permission to leave the state Cruz told the court that he has nothing here, not even a home. When asked where he had been living since his last court appearance, Cruz replied, “In a hotel.”
“I believe Mr. Cruz is being given an opportunity that is not available to him in Broward County,” said Judge Brown. It seems to be a wonderful opportunity that I don’t want to slip by Mr. Cruz.
Cruz’s job and living quarters are being provided by Nexus Services, which specializes in helping people adjust after prison or treatment. That’s the same group that filed a lawsuit on his behalf over his alleged treatment at the jail –and his half million bond for the trespass charge.
Cruz will work as a maintenance mechanic paying $13 an hour on Nexus properties – both residential and commercial.
Terry Shipe, vice president of support services at Nexus, said Cruz’s job would have him cleaning, painting, mowing lawns, and doing some light electrical work after he had been trained and certified.
Nexus Services’ Terry Anne Johnson said Cruz would receive weekly counseling sessions and she would like additional counseling added to that. She also told the judge that Cruz would have a curfew – initially 9 p.m.
When asked why things would be different in Virginia than in South Florida where he violated his probation Cruz replied, “We didn’t he a good relationship, I now have a fresh relationship with these people.”
Cruz told the judge that while he’s in Virginia he would try to get his high school diploma and wants to study auto mechanics.
Judge Brown made it a point to tell Cruz that all terms of his probation remain in effect, he must check in with his probation officer once a week, and he can’t commit any violations no matter how small they seem.
“No law violation is a small violation,” she said.
Outside the courtroom, Cruz said he planned to leave for Virginia as soon as possible.
“I’m very happy with the court’s ruling and I’m looking forward to starting a new life in Virginia,” he said.
“What are your plans there,” asked CBS4’s Ted Scouten.
“Just to live my life,” he replied.