A Florida judge has set an unusually high $500,000 bond for Zachary Cruz after being charged with trespassing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — the location where his brother, Nikolas Cruz, murdered 17 people.
Authorities revealed that the 18-year-old brother of the Florida gunman “unlawfully entered the school grounds” around 4:30 p.m. Surveillance footage also recorded the moment when he went through locked gates and rode his skateboard throughout the property, Sun-Sentinel reported.
Based on the arrest report, he told deputies that he went to the campus to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in.” Apparently, it was the third time that Zachary visited the school despite prior warnings to stay away.
During Zachary’s court appearance on Tuesday, prosecutors expressed their concern about threats he could possibly pose, particularly his “admiration” for Nikolas.
It has been revealed that the siblings have been in contact despite the suspect being in jail. Assistant State Attorney Sarahnell Murphy said Zachary has been heard talking about how popular his brother is after his horrific crime.
There were even claims that he has been bragging about how many girls he is capable of attracting now because of Nikolas’ popularity. In addition, prosecutors noted that Zachary has been discussing his plans to start some sort of “pen pal” or “fan club” for his convicted brother.
BREAKING: Bond set at half a million dollars for brother of Stoneman Douglas shooter. Zachary Cruz is accused of trespassing on the school's property on Monday. A prosecutor said it was his third time on the MSD campus since the massacre https://t.co/MQFQtd8p0S pic.twitter.com/v8ebPxa9b8
— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) March 20, 2018
Meanwhile, Joseph Kimok, who is representing Zachary, pointed out that the bond and conditions set for his client were far out of proportion, especially for a trespassing offense.
“He is being held for who he is related to, not for anything he did.”
Usually, a trespassing offense only carries a $25 bond. However, prosecutors agreed to set an initial $750,000, before settling to $500,000 and other conditions, Miami Herald reported.
Zachary Cruz first appearance on trespassing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site fatal shooting rampage by brother, Nicholas Cruz. $500k bond, no contact with brother, banned from all schools. #OnAssignment #My9to5 #BREAKING @SunSentinel @BrowardCourts @NeverAgainMSD pic.twitter.com/BQMlTSfHMG
— Amy Beth Bennett (@abennettphoto) March 20, 2018
Broward County Judge Kim Theresa Mollica also ordered Zachary to wear a GPS ankle monitor and stay away from schools if ever he will be released.
In addition, another judge ordered a search for weapons and ammunition at his Palm Beach County home. He is also required not to visit Nikolas in jail.
Zachary Cruz is now being held in Fort Lauderdale jail where his brother is.
Nikolas Cruz went on a shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, instantly killing 17 people. He is currently facing 34 counts of murder charges and is likely to face the death penalty.