Texas

Allen El Paso shooter not to be sentenced to death

Federal prosecutors will not seek the death penalty for Allen, a man accused of fatally killing nearly two dozen people in a racially motivated attack at a Walmart store in El Paso in 2019.

On Jan. 17, the U.S. Department of Justice announced its decision not to impose the death penalty on Patrick Crusius in a one-sentence notice filed in federal court in El Paso, PBS reported. But the court documents do not specify why the death penalty will not be imposed.

A 24-year-old Allen resident is accused of assaulting Mexicans during a massacre at a Walmart store in El Paso on August 3, 2019, in which 23 people were killed and injured. In state court, Crusius was charged with a federal hate crime, violation of the rules for handling a firearm and capital murder. He pleaded not guilty.

The decision to remove the death penalty comes just weeks after former District Attorney Jaime Esparza took over as U.S. Attorney for West Texas. Esparza said when he was district attorney that he would seek the death penalty in the Crusius case.

Former state attorney Yvonne Rosales resigned in November following accusations of incompetence related to hundreds of cases in El Paso and a slowdown in the Crusius case. Last month, Governor Greg Abbott appointed a new district attorney, Esparza, to “restore confidence” in the local criminal justice system.

On August 3, 2019, Crusius left Allen, where he lived with his family, and allegedly drove 10 hours to El Paso, where he briefly got lost and “hungry” before heading to a Walmart and opening fire. According to Dallas Morning NewsCrusius did not appear to show any signs of guilt or remorse for the killings.

Crusius turned himself in to police after the shooting and said, “I shot,” and told police that he shot Mexicans in a police report. Prosecutors said that before the shooting, he posted a screed online stating that it was “in response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

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