EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The alleged Walmart killer will be re-arraigned next month in federal court, where he is expected to plead guilty to multiple counts of hate crime resulting in death.
Patrick Wood Crusius is ordered to appear in person before U.S. District Judge David C. Guaderrama at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8. His attorneys filed a motion for re-arraignment on Friday, indicating that Crusius will plead guilty to all charges stemming from the Aug. 3, 2019, attack at the Walmart next Cielo Vista Mall.
Federal prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty against Crusius in a Wednesday filing. State prosecutors previously indicated they intend to seek the death penalty but would have to wait for the completion of the Federal hearing to schedule its trial.
During a November hearing in state court, his defense attorney Joe Spencer argued, “Every defense lawyer in the country knows Patrick Crusius is not leaving prison alive. It’s only a question if it’s going to be on God’s time or man’s time,” Spencer said. “Since two days after this incident, we have been trying to resolve this case and bring judicial finality to this community.”
New District Attorney Bill Hicks, along with a newly hired special prosecutor, will appear on Wednesday afternoon before Judge Sam Medrano in the 409th District Court, where they are expected to set a timeline in the state’s case against the alleged shooter. The District Attorney’s Office previously indicated they would seek the death penalty in the state’s case.
A gag order was placed on July 1, 2022, while former District Attorney Yvonne Rosales was in office, preventing parties from commenting on the case. A hearing in December in Medrano’s court regarding the possible violation of that gag order revealed possible witness intimidation by Rosales’ office. She ultimately resigned from office amid a removal petition and the gag order hearing; She pleaded the Fifth to a series of questions while on the stand.
Bill Hicks, who was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott, is also subject to the same gag order but has spoken publicly on at least two occasions since taking office about the Walmart trial.
It is unclear if he will face similar reprimands from Judge Medrano.
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