Massacre defendant's attorneys want judge to remove them

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The public defenders representing the former student charged with the Florida high school massacre are set to ask a judge to remove them from the case.

The Broward County Public Defender's Office will ask Judge Elizabeth Scherer on Wednesday to order Nikolas Cruz to hire a private attorney with the $432,000 he may receive from his late mother's life insurance policy. The office made the surprise announcement last week.

Prosecutors oppose such a move, saying any money likely will go through lawsuits to Cruz's surviving victims and the families of those killed.

Cruz is charged with killing 17 and wounding 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018.

He's pleaded not guilty but his attorneys said he would plead guilty for a life sentence. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

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