El Paso mass shooting suspect to face trial judge for 1st time

El Paso mass shooting suspect to face trial judge for 1st time

El Paso mass shooting suspect to face trial judge for 1st time

The 21-year-old man accused of killing 22 people when he opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas on August 3, pleaded not guilty to capital murder charges at his initial court appearance Thursday.

Crusius, 21, who wore a suit and glasses, only spoke to enter his plea and responded "Yes, Sir" to questions from Judge Sam Medrano Jr. on the pronunciation of his last name and if it was spelled correctly on paper.

Local prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty. Authorities are still weighing filing hate crimes charges against him.

The US attorney for the Western District of Texas, John Bash, then added that the case was being treated as an act of domestic terrorism.

Crusius is accused of driving 11 hours from his hometown of Allen, near Dallas, to El Paso and using an AK-style assault rifle in the slaughter that left another 26 injured.

About 2,000 people were at the scene of the massacre, so almost all of the city's 700,000 residents knew somebody affected by the shooting. The lead prosecutor says his sister was in the Walmart during the attack and that the gunman walked right by her.

Prosecutors on September 27 shared proof with the protection, together with police and Federal Bureau of Investigation interviews of Crusius, his cellphone information, college data and tens of hours of Walmart safety digicam footage from the time of the capturing.

Crusius turned himself in less than an hour after the shooting after fleeing the scene in his vehicle, according to police. The court records also included medical images taken from shooting victims, and jail mail and phone calls involving Crisius after his arrest.

Prior to carrying out the attack, Mr Crusius published a white supremacist manifesto online which expressed fears of a "Hispanic invasion" of Texas.

Meanwhile, the Crusius legal team appealed for open minds as they present their portrait of Crusius.

Patrick Crusius, accused of killing 22 people in an El Paso, Texas Walmart, has plead not guilty; Casey Stegall reports. He has been on suicide watch since shortly after his arrest and is separated from other prisoners.

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