According to the public defender, Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz has already requested an additional $5 million for the trial, and that trial might not take place for three years.
Documents obtained by the Associated Press have revealed that Nikolas Cruz, 19, who is accused of killing 17 people and injuring others in the Florida school shooting on February 14, was recommended to be committed for a mental health check by two schools counselors and a resource officer who also worked as a sheriff's deputy. Some fellow students, speaking to media on the day of the shooting, said they were not surprised that Cruz was the one who went on a rampage. Coincidentally, the AP reports, school resource officer who recommended that Cruz be committed was Scot Peterson - the same Broward Sheriff's Office deputy who resigned amid accusations he failed to respond to the shooting by staying outside the building where the killings occurred.
The documents, provided by mental health facility Henderson Behavioral Health, reportedly described disturbing examples of Cruz's behavior, such as cutting his arm after breaking up with his girlfriend, telling a classmate that he wanted to buy a gun and use it, and telling another that he threw up after drinking gasoline.
The report of a September 28, 2016 interview read that Cruz "cut his arms 3-4 weeks ago and states that this is the only time he has ever cut".
This is on top of the many tips called in to (and ignored by) both the Broward Country Sheriff's office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation about Cruz's desire to carry out a school shooting, his desire to kill people, and his reported affinity for ISIS.
An involuntary commitment for a mental health examination, as was recommended, could act as a complete barrier towards buying a gun.
Lynda Cruz, Cruz's mother who died in November, expressed in the documents she was anxious about her son's mental state after he punched holes in the walls of their Parkland home. He faces the death penalty if convicted. One of the guidance counselors told the Henderson clinic that the deputy had decided Mr. Cruz did not fit the criteria for involuntary commitment.
After a September 28, 2016 interview, the documents say Cruz "reports that he cut his arms 3-4 weeks ago and states that this is the only time he has ever cut". The Baker Act gave Peterson the authority to give such recommendation. "(Cruz) states that he is better now, reports that he is no longer lonely and states that his grades have gone back up".
He also told clinicians that he only owned a pellet gun and would never do "serious harm" to another person.