Judge: Nikolas Cruz can have discussions with his probate attorney


A judge ordered Thursday the Broward County public defender’s office cannot block probate attorney Audra Simovitch from speaking with her client — Nikolas Cruz, accused of killing 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week.

Simovitch, who is representing Cruz in the case of his late-mother’s estate, complained in an emergency petition that the public defender’s office representing Cruz in his criminal case had denied her a chance to speak with him while he is at the Broward County Jail.

Cruz, the 19-year-old who admitted to killing 14 students and three adults Feb. 14, hired Simovitch’s office on Dec. 13. The retainer agreement was also signed by Rocxanne Deschamps, the woman who took Cruz in to her suburban Lantana mobile home after his mother, Lynda Cruz, died Nov. 1.

In a court filing, the public defender denied Simovitch’s allegations.

Deschamps has not responded to numerous attempts by The Palm Beach Post to speak with her.

Accused Parkland gunman made threats, trashed Lantana home

Chad Bennett, a friend of Deschamps, said Lynda Cruz had named Deschamps — a longtime friend and a former neighbor in Broward County — as the siblings’ guardian, but she has no paperwork to confirm that. He said the family has been unable to find Lynda Cruz’s will.

Deschamps took in Nikolas Cruz and his younger brother Zachary when their mother died. However Nikolas Cruz later wanted to bring a gun in the home and Deschamps said he couldn’t so he left, Bennett said. Zachary continued to live at the home. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office took him in for a mental health evaluation Friday. It is unclear where he is now.

Once Nikolas Cruz left Deschamps’ home he moved in with the Snead family in Broward County.

Cruz told the family he had an $800,000 trust fund and that he would get most of it when he turns 22, the Miami Herald reported.

Staff Researcher Melanie Mena contributed to this story.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

To do in Gardens: Lifting with ‘the doc,’ bridal bash, hunger walk
To do in Gardens: Lifting with ‘the doc,’ bridal bash, hunger walk

LIFTING WITH THE DOC Hard Exercise Works, 10190 Riverside Drive, No. 101, will host a free “Lifting with the Doc” seminar 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday. After the workout of the day, Matthew DiLallo, a chiropractic physician from Performance and Wellness Chiropractic, will lead a small group through stretches and give tips to help with lifts and...
UPDATE: Burt Reynolds’ funeral held in West Palm Beach
UPDATE: Burt Reynolds’ funeral held in West Palm Beach

A private funeral service marked by scripture, music and celebrities took place Wednesday for Burt Reynolds, Palm Beach County’s home-grown movie star.  Reynolds, who came to the county as a youth and kept a connection to it throughout his career as an actor and director in Hollywood, died Sept. 6 at age 82.  Wednesday’s service...
Jupiter Police Department names K-9 after Burt Reynolds character
Jupiter Police Department names K-9 after Burt Reynolds character

Jupiter Police Department has named its newest K-9 officer after one of Burt Reynolds’ best-known characters. Bandit, an 11-week-old bloodhound, will join the department once he completes eight to 10 months of training. This Bandit isn’t going to smuggle bootleg beer across state lines or be chased by Sheriff Buford T. Justice — rather...
Lantana family of 9 loses home in fire; youth football team gives $800
Lantana family of 9 loses home in fire; youth football team gives $800

Sept. 1 was a regular Saturday evening for Tara Payton as she heated up oil in a cast-iron pan to cook dinner for six children in her Lantana home. When she stepped away to ask her husband Ryan a quick question at the front door, Tara heard someone scream “fire!” and she immediately ran back inside to see the kitchen in flames. &ldquo...
More Stories