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Parkland gunman's brother gets probation for trespassing, can't own firearms

By Sara Shayanian
Parkland gunman's brother gets probation for trespassing, can't own firearms
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is pictured on February 19, five days after gunman Nikolas Cruz shot 17 people dead at the campus in Parkland, Fla. File Photo by Gary Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

March 29 (UPI) -- Zachary Cruz, the younger brother of the Parkland high school shooter, was sentenced Thursday for trespassing this month at the scene of the campus attack.

Cruz, 18, pleaded no contest and was given six months of probation -- during which time he cannot possess a firearm or ammunition and must wear a GPS monitor.

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Also, Judge Melinda Brown ordered that Cruz can never return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and must stay at least one mile away from the campus. He can only visit any school campus if he is enrolled, the judge ruled.

Cruz is also barred from having contact with the relatives of any of the 17 victims who died or those who were injured.

RELATED Brother of Parkland shooter arrested for trespassing at MSDHS

Cruz was arrested March 19 and charged with trespassing at the school. He told police he visited the school to "reflect on the school shooting and soak it in," despite being told by school officials to stay away.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, remains at the Broward County Jail and faces the death penalty if he's convicted on numerous counts of murder and attempted murder stemming from the Feb. 14 shooting.

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The younger Cruz faced a second-degree misdemeanor charge with a bond that is typically $25. However, he was held by a $500,000 bond and a judge ordered he undergo a psychological evaluation, electronic monitoring and no communication with his older brother.

RELATED Judge enters not guilty plea for accused Parkland shooter Cruz

Zachary Cruz's attorney, Joseph Kimok, argued earlier that his client was held "because of who he is related to, not because of anything that he did."

Kimok also said Zachary Cruz "was overcome with sorrow" about the Parkland shooting.

"Sorrow for the victims and their families, sorrow for his brother, who he loves," he said.

RELATED Amid walkout, FBI official says errors were made with Parkland shooter

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