Nikolas Cruz Melisa McNeil

When Nikolas Cruz was arrested and charged with 17 counts of murder in Florida's 2nd worst mass shootings, he was appointed a public defender after he signed court papers claiming he didn't have enough money to pay for his defense.

The 19-year-old former student used an AR-15 rifle to gun down his former classmates at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine's Day.

A woman who took him in after his adoptive parents died has filed a motion to take control of his $800,000 inheritance -- an inheritance that the public defender's office was not aware of.

Now Floridians are asking why their tax dollars are being used to pay for his defense when he has all this cash at his disposal.

Rocxanne Deschamps, who took in Cruz after his mother died, filed court docs for control of his inheritance left to him by his mother, Lynda Cruz, who died from flu-related complications on November 1.

Lynda and her husband adopted Nikolas and his adopted brother as infants. Neither adoptive parent left a will when they died 15 years apart. The $800,000 is believed to be the combined total of their estates.

Howard Finkelstein, the public defender of Broward County, Florida, filed a court motion on Tuesday, asking a judge to investigate Cruz's finances.

Deschamps' lawyers quickly filed a motion to take control of his inheritance the day after Nikolas Cruz gunned down his classmates and faculty members.

Deschamps' lawyer claimed she was filing on behalf of Nikolas' adopted brother, who still lives with her.

Nikolas Cruz Melisa McNeil

Nikolas's public defenders Melisa McNeil, pictured left, and Gordon Weeks claim their client is depressed, suicidal and remorseful.

"He's sad. He's mournful. He's remorseful. He is fully aware of what is going on, and he's just a broken human being," McNeil told reporters while fighting back tears.

Weeks, who was also brought to tears while speaking with reporters, said Cruz was remorseful and "He is dealing with the shock of all this that's going on."

McNeil and Weeks said Cruz is autistic and has other significant psychological problems.

"When your brain is not fully developed, you don't know how to deal with these things," McNeil said. "That's the child I'm sitting across from."

Weeks added: "The child is deeply troubled and he has endured significant trauma that stems from the loss of his mother."

But their boss, Howard Finkelstein, said if an investigation determines Cruz has money, "It could result in us being removed from the case."

He added: "The question here is, are there enough [financial] resources to pay for a lawyer?"

Photos by Mike Stocker-Pool/Getty Images

  • Ryan

    “When your brain is not fully developed, you don’t know how to deal with these things,” McNeil said. “That’s the child I’m sitting across from.” BULLSHT. And the parents' greedy azzes filed to get that money before the bodies were even in the ground?? Cold blooded.

  • Quitedeliteful

    Give some of that money to his brother and the rest to the victims. What does he need that money for anyway? He really doesn't need an attorney because he's going to spend the rest of his life behind bars anyway.

  • Quitedeliteful

    He’s sad. He’s mournful. He’s remorseful. He is fully aware of what is going on, and he’s just a broken human being,” McNeil told reporters while fighting back tears.
    What is wrong with white folks??? This terrorist slaughters many innocent people and the lawyer has tears in his eyes for HIM???

  • Phillybruh

    400k it has to be split with the brother. I mean it just happened a week ago only person that knew this was the person who filed for control of it. Something tells me they fed this boy's crazy to have access to that money.

  • davine puddin

    I bet he didnt even know his adoptive parents left him money...why was he and his little brother living in a trailer? When his adopted mother died why wasnt there a court appointed guardian over his estate. Was he having behavior or mental issues before his adopted mother got sick..side note that flu was no joke. I had it but i am still coughing periodically.

  • RaginB

    Why do they keep calling this POS a kid?!?

  • Blaque Mahogany

    Further proof that money does not make you happy.

    Also, I love the way yt psychopathic serial killers can still be referred to as children, kids, innocent...even while drenched in the blood of their actual children victims. But, AA youth who steal, sale drugs, vandalize are super predators, thugs, etc.

  • Roderick2011

    Because he's white (or at least looks white).

  • ???TheRider???

    He's a broken human being, what the f ever! I watched Tiffany Haddish's special last night. The things that woman went through! The fact that her father tried to kill the entire family? That could have "broken" her too, but she didn't shoot up ish! I'm sorry for the victims, no one should have to die like that, but the suspect can go straight to hell!

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    chile bye... That is not a human being... Foh! That money will be drained ...

  • Leigh Burton

    He is guilty! They need to decide whether he should get the death penalty or not!

  • Phillybruh

    He was in counseling up until his mother died. When she died the counseling stopped I believe. The mother seemed to have been aware of her sons issues. So which means so did the people who took him in.

  • Ni Ni

    I thought the flu had run its course around here, but one teacher called in this morning with symptoms and another one in here sneezing and walking around shriveled up. I want to spray my lysol, but im trying to wait until she gets up and leave ?. I just got out the hospital and cant afford to get sick again.

  • PLEASEDontTellMe

    Im trying to think back to none white murders under the age of 25, and whether they were described as, mournful, remorseful, broken human being, with brains not fully developed, that didn't have the capabilities to deal with these things.... I think Lee Boyd Malvo tried to use that and a judge called it bullshit

  • Ni Ni

    They make me sick!

  • Whiplash(lacejagger)

    This guy committed an inhumane act.. no doubt. I get the feeling he was teased and bullied.. on top of having a mental illness or two. I also believe the same kids, going around proclaiming to be revolutionist, are the same ones who bullied this guy. I do not excuse his actions at all..just an observation and my opinion

  • puppylove

    Wondering if he was born with some kind of developmental issues. What is the status of his bio parents.

  • sunni_daze

    Never. In the History of America

  • Ghost

    Here we the $$$ are in the picture...smh. I believe the only reason those people took him and his brother in was for THE MONEY! They had the younger brother institutionalize and now the older brother is in jail FOR LIFE!

    They said they wanted to get control over the money so they could pay the mother's outstanding bills! Well she died in many bills did she have ??? they weren't worried about paying them before!?

    What a mess! The state will wound up getting it all...between paying for the younger brother's issues and the older's legal problems..$800k is no money at all...smh

  • bella28498 .

    lmao white people smh...the court appointed lawyer is standing very close to him, and while consulting they are overly concerned with his well being.....if only black ppl were treated half way as decent.

  • Cocoa Rose

    UH...he was jealous over his ex girlfriend's new biracial boyfriend nothing more nothing less....

  • SpillyNillie

    He's 19, not 9! He was fully aware of what he did, when he did it. FOH!

  • Kemi

    I’m glad some of that money if not all will be used to defend his indefensible acts rather than taxpayers’ money! I’m tired of footing heinous acts like this!

  • Ni Ni

    Wow, i had no idea. I wish her well.

  • Noirluv45

    This cretin's attorney's know good and well they are speaking nonsense.They are doing their job to bring pity to the people (we all know when White folks get into trouble, it's NEVER because they are just evil...they play the mental illness card). They never are responsible for their actions. We all know, too, that Black people don't get the same "courtesy." White people are for White people. They'll do anything to absolve themselves from their evil. No one should be shocked.

  • Dowoop

    And 19 is an adult not no damn child.

  • Dowoop

    So that is why she took him in in the first place. Thats pbly why she didnt say anything when he was bringing guns into her house and having target practice in her backyard.

  • Dowoop

    His bio parents sure as hell will not be claiming his ass now.

  • Rayne

    They should take ALL of it. I wouldn’t give anybody one red cent. Donate it to the victims.

  • Dowoop

    There are millions of teased and bullied kids who dont do this. He just felt he was entitled.

  • Kemi

    And it was premeditated with everything planned. He knew exactly he wanted to cause havoc that day. He and his lawyers can cry me a river!!

  • Dowoop

    I wouldn't wait. SPRAY IT! Hopefully she gets the hint.

  • Whiplash(lacejagger)

    We all handle different things differently. The two columbine shooters were bullied beyond belief.. it was even in their school records. Again this does not justify what he did..

  • Luv Pitties

    Affluenza all over again?

  • Phillybruh

    I wouldn't go that far.

  • We Can Do This

    Autistic? Lol!

    Most are wicked to the core. When something doesn't go their way and they can't figure it out, then comes the rage most of the time.

    We all should be careful around certain types.

  • Renee26

    That Deschamps lady only wants that money...she committed the other boy to a hospital after this...don't give it to her...make him use it all to pay for his legal fees and give the rest to the would be a small amount but at least he wouldn't get to have any of it

  • Phillybruh

    Only his portion, his brother is legally entitled to half of that.

  • Renee26

    right...and who gives a damn about a dead persons debts anyway?? Most companies write them off as losses

  • Renee26

    Bio mother was said to be a crackhead ...doesn't excuse the act though

  • Renee26

    I can't wait to get home to catch the episodes...I was excited about the series and haven't watched one yet

  • MJF

    This b*tch of a public defender is fighting back tears because he's depressed and remorseful? How about fighting back tears for the kids who died and the parents who lost their kids. This world is a mess and the people in it are just lost.

  • hottlanta

    Watching the listening session and thought that it was pitiful for the staff to right on Dump notes "I hear you" so you can have just one drop of empathy. This brought me back to the Central Park 5 how he wanted those 5 young men to die but he hasn't tweeted out the punishment he want for this guy who killed 17 people. He didn't tweet out punishment for white criminals as a private citizen but if this guy was a Mexican he would be saying this is why we need the wall and if he was a Muslim we need the Muslim ban now. Why doesn't someone ask him why he hasn't signed the domestic terroristic act bill that has been on his desk for 4 months. They still haven't call him a terrorist or a thug.

  • Shira Harding-James

    I’m really sick to my stomach....
    I do not understand how any human being with a sound mind could defend such an evil heinous act such as this. He seems to have a lot of mental issues that weren’t getting treated properly but this does not excuse him and this was definitely premeditated murder.

  • Karen Brady

    FUK him

  • Tiffani Jett


    Sending prayers up for the families who lost a loved one and those injured.

  • Tiffani Jett


  • Candance


  • shalynneb1

    That was hard to watch. Everyone thanking him for listening to him. That is his job to listen and solve the problem. His solution was to arm teachers so they can kill a child. They don't make enough money to teach let alone be ready to kill someone.

  • Coy little wink

    If you got 400k on the way what you so mad about?

  • Coy little wink

    If you got 400k on the way what do you have to be mad about? So busy being mad can't even count his blessings...

    I don't for sorry for this demon...

  • Kim’s Original Face

    wait what?

    When your brain is not fully developed, you don’t know how to deal with these things,” McNeil said. “That’s the child I’m sitting across from.”

    That is a domestic terrorist not a child. He knew what he was doing. Brain wasnt fully developed give me break can they just take him out back already and let off a few rounds. smh

  • Soon2BWife

    Child? How Sway? This is an adult. How do we pick and chose which 19 year olds are children and which are adults?

  • Trace da Ace

    “He’s sad. He’s mournful. He’s remorseful. He is fully aware of what is going on, and he’s just a broken human being,” McNeil told reporters while fighting back tears.
    ************************************************************************************* I swear I want to punch both of them dumb ass heffas in the face for even trying to justify this shit.....his brain is not fully developed???? But was developed enough to get a gun, go to the school and start picking folks off???? Bump all that......find a better defense you IDIOT!! They should just send him straight to the electric chair...PERIOD. Wasting tax dollars even taking this to court....he is guilty....what else is their to be said?

  • Soon2BWife

    Why I couldn’t understand how you let anyone not to mention a depressed lost soul with zero ambition but now I see. Man the gall of some folks. What makes her entitled to it?

  • shun king

    it does say he was autistic

  • hottlanta

    It wasn't nothing but a photo op. Folks want him to attend a town hall meeting but he said "no". You know why he isn't going because he can't control the questions in a town hall meeting and he can't answer the questions. He does meetings like that to make him look good. That wasn't nothing but a photo op and all we got is teachers need to have guns. If students know teacher has a gun the teacher can get shot in the back at the chalkboard. He want the teacher to do his job because he doesn't have an answer. He is so far removed and doesn't care it is not funny.

  • Soon2BWife

    She a lie. She is in no way responsible for a deceased person’s debt. She is not a spouse nor a co-signer. Foh

  • Soon2BWife

    He has the physical traits of a crack baby.

  • hottlanta

    White privilege.

  • datjerk

    He's a terrorist. Call him what the fuck he is.

  • datjerk


  • Ghost

    Well if she a crackhead as rumored...IDK..there is $800,000 involved! LBVS

  • Renee26

    and Dumbo

  • imright

    FIRST OF ALL he shouldnt even get a trial,he did it !!! but since he is getting one they should make him use that money to pay for his legal fees.

  • the guest

    They're just doing their job and hate it or not the defense strategy in on point. Women lawyers, crying, sympathetic, and he's autistic and adopted orphan. He's already getting several life sentences but no death penalty. Those two free lawyers went above the call of duty for that terrorist. They literally set the course for his life to be spared.

  • Soon2BWife

    Lee Boyd Malvo was 17 and He was influenced by and believed Muhammad (the DC Sniper) when he told him that the $10 million ransom sought from the US government to stop the sniper killings would be used to establish a Utopian society for one hundred and forty homeless black children on a Canadian compound. Muhammad had taken in this child and raised him as Malvos mother left him with Muhammad when he was 14, a true child. He and Malvo lived in homeless shelters and he listed Muhammad as his father on school records. It was his only stability and he saw John as his parent and provider. Muhammad indoctrinated him and had him play violent video games where he shot people over and ovee causing him to be desensitized to the actual murders.

    Welp, they referred to Malvo as a murderer, terroists and closest they got to referencing him as a child was calling him a juvenile. He got life in prison and the only reason why he didn’t get the death penalty is because the crime was committed before he was 18! I don’t believe Malvos action were willful, he was brainwashed and used by Muhammad. Now here this boy had 400k coming, a roof over his head and he is 19, grown so because his mom died from the flu he gets a pass and sympathy?!? Do the education and math and compare.

  • klwbaby

    I thought I read somewhere that he didn't want to have a trial to spare the families.

  • the guest

    The UN Convention of the Rights of Children asserts that children are up to and under the age of 18. At 19, he is not a child. But they are going to argue his mental defects and family trauma make him mentally a minor. Watch.

    Also, those lawyers knew about that money and the 2nd adoptive mother was advised to petition the money. All of a sudden she now seeks control of the money. Please, she was told to do that.

  • MsPam

    I wanted those adopted parents to have seats, they didn’t keep a eye on him now they want to keep the money?! Nope! And stop going on media tours, they were on Dr. Phil yesterday.

  • Tausha T. W.

    He had the cognition to legally purchase multiple firearms and ammunition. He had the cognition to plan the attack. He had the cognition to set off the fire alarm so that he could force people outside. He has the cognition to know how to use social media.

    The prosecution can use my argument and they are welcome.
    If the government is smart it will label this domestic terrorism. That way they could lock him up in an undisclosed location without a trial.

  • Trace da Ace

    soooo, you are saying that by him being autistic, that clarifies why he did what he did??? Sorry, not buying it.....I have 2 close friends with autistic if they do such heinous crimes later on in life, hell even in their teens.....the going defense is that they are autistic??? This boy knew what he was doing, Period.There is no defense....

  • Tausha T. W.


  • Tausha T. W.

    If this mass murderer is truly sad and remorseful he needs to prove it by pleading guilty. Then shoot himself.

  • Liah

    Dig a hole!

  • abby500

    Malvo is black. This clown is not.

  • Soon2BWife

    Yeah, you have a point. All pretty disgusting none the less. I’d be on tv apologizing that I let a monster live in my home, apologize to the parents and loved ones of the victims and getting the heck out of dodge to get my mind right and seek the Universal God’s face.

  • Chuck

    This killer is the devil and should be found guilty of capital murder, on numerous accounts, and should be sentenced to death! Life in prison is too good of a sentence for this coward. The victims' families should be able to sue him for every cent that is his!

  • Chuck

    Valid points!

  • angrysolo

    okay nah, are these alabasta box colored peoples truly expecting any sympathy for “him”. i’m at a lost for werds really — put “this” in a cage and less focus on these frauds gibbin us the okie-doke on some aintnevergonhappen gun reform.

    nothing will change until we the people lose our collective minds. one. good. time.

  • Ebony N’ Sweet

    They adopted him because he was rich... I knew there was more to the story smh. They want to take that $800k and go on a safari lol

  • Holler If Ya Hear Me

    White power is a hell of a privilege. Please take note brown skin people- this is the current justice system in full action. It is designed and tailored to meet the needs of white men.

    This whole thing is disgusting. Him and Dylan Roof should be dead dead dead. But no they will be symbolic of the corrupt system in place.

  • Holler If Ya Hear Me

    To the highest power.

  • Holler If Ya Hear Me

    He is a mass murderer

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    autistic - Boy, they are gonna get dragged by the National Autism Association.
    He is definitely not well bit INSANE, NO. He has earned the death sentence. He may get life in prison. I can see it going that way, esp after the FBI was warned & did nothing.

  • i troll it like i see it

    I'm sorry but it's way too hard to feel bad for him, especially now. He could have started over with that money when it was available to he and his brother. I know he's been dealt some bad cards in life. Losing dad and then mom to the flu of all things may have left him lost, maybe that's why he reached out to a white supremacy group for belonging, (or maybe he's just hateful) who knows but he's old enough to know that's wrong and evil and hateful and wicked. People are blaming it on mental illness but I can't get behind that either because if he was a minority nobody would give a damn about his mental stability, he would be vilified regardless, in fact he'd probably be dead. I don't think he would have been taken alive if he were not a white boy. Lawyers would suck that inheritance up, and I'm not sure I want him to have a strong defense backed by dollars, go ahead and keep those public defenders! A good lawyer might be able to spin this mess.

  • i troll it like i see it

    It does explain why they took them in, and they are making it seem like it was out of the goodness of their hearts. It at least explains why they let him keep those weapons and didn't put their foot down.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    And molested by him.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920


  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Micheal Brown was called a man, after he was murdered by that cop & a thug. 18 years old.

  • the guest

    You're right. Those two public defenders pulled out the Visine tears for the press. They don't play when it comes to building sympathy for the worst of their race.

    This mass murderer is going to get off with life in prison maybe even life with possibility of parole. Notice how society and all the protests are focusing on gun control instead of calling for the killer's head. But OJ couldn't walk down one city block without being called murderer.

    But this killer is being painted as a sympathetic figure and guns are being blamed because yet he deliberately went to his old school and killed 17 people. They criminalized Treyvon who actually was a child and was a victim, but this terrorist is a sympathetic figure? Unreal.

    Black people really need to learn to live off the grid and off the land and raise their kids to be happy homesteaders away from society that's setting them up for failure.

  • Ebony Starr

    It's time to file some wrongful death suits and lock that money down. He gets a public defender and adoptive mom gets nothing!

  • i troll it like i see it

    The situation with Lee Boyd Malvo has always hurt my heart because that was a child reaching out for a caregiver and got snatched up by a vengeful disgusting child molesting demon who lead him to commit murder. How could all of that not have been taken into consideration? Because they were black. It's a heartbreaking story. He shouldn't not be rotting in prison for life.

  • Cannelle

    Yea, I am still suck at the point where they called him a child. I could barely finish the rest of the article.

    FOH with that! Tamir Rice was an actual child, gunned down by murderous cops ...and this devil spawn was apprehended without a scratch.

    I am sick of white people being called children when they are 19 (this demon), 33 (Ryan Lochte), 40 (Dump Jr.), and beyond. People will insult everyone else (children, mentally ill, adoptees, etc.) to excuse their actions. Must be nice.

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    White people Shit! Fuggem!

  • dontgetblocked

    Remorseful??? Not enough. People have lost the children, sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, etc. And he's remorseful? He didn't even kill himself. Just going walk up with a military gun and play shoot em up! F him!

  • dontgetblocked

    Yeah. I was wondering why so many people were willing to take him in. He could have gotten an apartment.

  • dontgetblocked

    Well. He did shoot and kill folks, even kids. He's where he belongs. Lucky they didn't lynch him because they had those white people shook!


    these weak cave demons have been pilfering and destroying communities since the beginning of time- and crying victim. they are and remain terrorists. incapable of remorse and empathy. i am unable to find any effs to give about this 19 year old murderous MAN. may justice be severe and swift.

  • Soon2BWife

    Yes, he sure was. Now the act was awful but he was a child under the influence of a mad man. The crime they committed was awful and God Bless those souls that were killed and their loved ones. However, this child at the time was not dealt with according or at least he wasn’t extended the same grace that is being extended to the Parkland shooter, a grown man, who under his own will went to the school, pulled the fire alarm and killed 17.

  • Soon2BWife

    Me too! Until recently he was still protecting that fool who he basically worshipped. So very sad, poor kid was abandoned by his mother and left in the hands if that demon.

  • EbonyBreeze

    Those adoptive parents allowed this kid whom they knew was “troubled” to own and play with his guns real and fake when he asked to!!! I don’t understand WHY they allowed this deeply disturbed young monster own weapons that can kill!!! I would be afraid to sleep in the same house as him knowing he could possibly get ahold of those guns and use them in the wrong way!!! See this white kids get away with that type of bs because people they own guns for sport purposes....let a black man young or old purchase an assault rifle!!! He won’t make it out that store without being handcuffed..and I also feel that the adoptive parents probably only adopted them because they knew of his inheritance!

  • Malai

    EXACTLY! But they sitting here calling this grown ass 19-YEAR-OLD a CHILD! GTFOH!!! This entire thing pisses me off! And “his brain isn’t fully developed”? lmao they tried it... this mf learned how to use assault weapons when the average person does not... he not that dumb as they claim him to be!

  • Malai

    Mannnn I’m telling u! His dumb ass had them racks coming yet he was so concerned about HIGHSCHOOL and being kicked out??? ? he should’ve went on and lived his life and said to hell with whoever didn’t treat him right! He had a major opportunity in front of him and ruined it

  • Malai

    They’re seeing dollars... attorneys... lawyers... are the biggest liars... it really isn’t about what’s RIGHT... it’s about which side can tell the more convincing story to the jury

  • i troll it like i see it

    If he had real love and support in his life who knows what he could have been, it's a real sad story. And then the justice system let him down as well. Maybe things wouldn't have been as awful if one of the victims wasn't FBI. Malvo was a minor and should have been given some leniency considering the circumstances.

  • i troll it like i see it

    Especially since technically he is an adult.

  • Holler If Ya Hear Me


  • shun king

    those kids are impulsive i have been around autistic kids and teens they are a slave to impulses

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920


  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920


  • Rhondalousey

    His stupid arse sitting on 800k and he's somewhere shooting up schools! To H with him and his lawyers for trying to humanize this nut-job.

  • Unhappy American


  • Unhappy American


  • luVn_liFe…

    the adoptive parents left them the money.

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    You'd be surprised how many white people who live in trailers are actually sitting on a lot of money. Looks can be very deceiving...

  • StoneColdLady

    Sad but true... I work with them and have been called a bitch every day, one even made a song about it! Where I work with hey have no real consequences for their behavior violent or not (hitting, throwing objects, spitting, nothing AND my fear is what happens when they get in the real world

  • Gotitbutsmh

    His share needs to go to the victims or his defense. The woman who took him in is wasting no time trying to get her hands on the loot huh?

  • Ms Thang

    The adoptive mom died in November. The lady that took him in is trying to get control of the money. They didn't have a will so i think it has to be split between family members.

  • the guest


  • Jussjess25

    Wow. And the fkn plot thickens.. the child??? Wow

  • gail jones


  • gail jones

    My sentiments exactly!

  • Bob Dilla

    Wait, please understand that the killer's little brother is a victim too.

  • yippeeeeee

    I agreed with you up until you started the racial b.s.! Stop the division!

  • yippeeeeee

    racist bot alert!

  • the guest

    A child. He's over 18 and they called him a child. This country has a history of sentencing under 15 years old minor black children as adults for one murder. And this grown white man mass murderer is "a child who feels terrible and is just trying to grasp all that is happening" UN-fking-real!!!!