Plea of not guilty entered for Nikolas Cruz, Microsoft shares revealed in court

FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2018 file photo, Nikolas Cruz, accused of murdering 17 people in the Florida high school shooting, appears in court for a status hearing in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Cruz reportedly had a history of shooting small animals. While some animal welfare advocates question the usefulness of animal abuser registries, laws creating them have been passed in a growing number of municipalities in recent years with proponents citing studies linking animal cruelty to crimes ranging from domestic violence to mass shootings. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool, File)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WPEC) - The teen accused of killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month had a plea of not guilty entered on his behalf during a formal arraignment Wednesday afternoon.

Nikolas Cruz stood mute during the court hearing. The judge set a hearing for April 11 to determine whether he is indigent.

Attorneys revealed some information about his finances in court Wednesday, which include 24 shares of Microsoft, a bank account with $12,000, a $25,000 check, and a pending disbursement of a $50,000 life insurance policy that his mother had. Cruz and his brother are beneficiaries.

Last week, a grand jury indicted Cruz on 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted murder for the mass shooting on Valentine's Day.

Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against him.

The court appearance takes place on the same day of a national student walkout to push for school safety, more gun control, and pay tribute to the victims of the shooting. Florida Gov. Rick Scott last week signed a school security and gun bill into law, which makes a number of changes, including raising the age to buy rifles to 21. Investigators said Cruz legally purchased the AR-15 used in the school shooting last year.

In Washington, D.C., the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the response by the FBI and law enforcement to the tips and red flags raised about Cruz before February's shooting. A Broward County Sheriff's school resource deputy assigned to Stoneman Douglas resigned after the sheriff's office said he didn't go into the school to possibly confront and kill the shooter. Deputy Scot Peterson called the accusations untrue.

COURT MOTIONS

The father of shooting victim Anthony Borges filed motions to disqualify the state attorney and public defender in the case.



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