A man charged with killing 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso in 2019 will plead guilty to federal hate crime charges, his attorney said in a court filing Saturday.
The announcement comes four days after the Justice Department announced it would not seek the death penalty in federal indictments against Patrick Crusius. The August 3, 2019 mass shooting was the deadliest attack targeting Hispanics in US history.
Crusius’ pleading guilty came amid a motion filed by defense attorney Felix Valenzuela seeking that his client be reindicted on federal charges.
“Now, Defendant Patrick Wood Crusius, through his attorneys and through his attorneys, respectfully moves to the Court to set up an immediate action for a Relocation Hearing at the convenience of the Court. I am notifying the court of my intention to commence a guilty plea against the indictment,” the motion states.
The Federal Attorney’s Office has not yet responded to this allegation. U.S. District Judge David Guaderama, who is presiding over the federal indictment, has not set a date for the reassignment.
Allen’s 24-year-old Crusius is charged with 23 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, 23 counts of violent crime murder with a firearm, 22 counts of hate crimes of attempted murder, and 22 counts. . Use of firearms in violent crimes. The highest federal sentence he faces is life imprisonment, as the death penalty is not being considered.
His federal trial is scheduled for January 2024.
Crusius also faces state charges, including 23 counts of murder, which could carry the death penalty. No trial date has been set for the state charges, but 409th District Court Judge Sam Medrano Jr. plans to hear his status on Wednesday.
In court, Crusius’ attorney said Crusius had a mental illness and was unable to carry out the death penalty.
Law enforcement officials said Crusius drove 10 hours from North Texas to El Paso on August 3, 2019, before stopping at a Cielo Vista Walmart and opening fire with a semi-automatic rifle in the parking lot and inside the store.
Shortly before starting the shooting, Crusius allegedly posted a screed on a popular white supremacist website saying the attack was “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
This report was originally published by el paso problema member-supported bipartisan media organization.