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Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz listens during a status check on his case at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP. Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz listens during a status check on his case at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP.

As 20-year-old Nikolas Cruz, charged with carrying out one of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history, anticipates a $432,000 payout from his dead mother’s life insurance policy, the court has an urgent decision to make: What now?

The specter of the death penalty hovers over Cruz as he awaits trial, having confessed to killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. But Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein asked the court to consider removing his office from the case Wednesday, as Florida law prohibits it from representing defendants with the means to retain a private lawyer.

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Raychel Lean

Raychel Lean is ALM's Florida bureau chief, overseeing the Daily Business Review. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter via @raychellean.

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