The man accused of targeting Hispanics when he allegedly killed 23 people at a Texas Walmart plans to plead guilty to federal hate-crime charges, new court papers reveal.
Lawyers representing Patrick Crusuis informed the feds over the weekend of his intent to change his plea to guilty in a court filing obtained by El Paso Matters.
The motion was filed days after federal prosecutors announced they would not seek the death penalty for Crusius. The 24-year-old allegedly drove 10 hours from the Dallas suburb of Allen to El Paso to hunt Hispanics in the 2019 massacre.
He told investigators he cased the busy super-center store near the US-Mexico border to make sure it was filled with Hispanics. Surveillance video showed him entering the store with an AK-47, murdering 23 shoppers and injuring 22 others, Aug. 3, 2019.
The federal case against the suspect includes a hate-filled manifesto he allegedly posted online moments before the attack. The then-21-year-old complained of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” writing that he was “simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion,” prosecutors claim.
“The U.S. district judge will grant the motion for rearraignment and set a date for the rearraignment hearing,” a US Attorney spokesman told The Post about the plea change. “Following that hearing, the judge will then set a date for the sentencing hearing.”
The office would not comment on how a guilty plea might impact his sentence. With capital punishment off the table, a life sentence was the worst punishment the accused gunman could have faced if his case had gone to trial, as it was scheduled to next January.
The alleged murderer still faces a potential death by lethal injection in the state case against him. No date has been set in that trial.
Former DA Yvonne Rosales had been handling the case before that, but she was forced out of office over accusations of incompetency and mishandling of multiple cases, including the Walmart shooting, the biggest case in the city’s history.