FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Attorneys for self-confessed Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz cannot withdraw from his case. That is the decision from Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer, according to the Public Defenders office.
Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weeks has confirmed to CBS4 News that his office cannot withdraw from the case and provided no further comment at this time.
The public defenders went to court earlier this week asking to be removed after learning Cruz is expected to collect about $432,000 as part of an annuity from his deceased mother, who died about three months before the school massacre.
The defense team argued that simply be being eligible for the payout, he is no longer poor enough to be represented by them.
Both prosecutors and victims’ families objected, saying he will never get the money because of lawsuits and a change of attorneys would delay his trial, scheduled for early next year.
Cruz is charged with murdering 14 students and 3 staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, and wounded 17 others.
He has pleaded not guilty but his attorneys said he would plead guilty for a life sentence. Prosecutors want the death penalty.