Trump’s Killing Spree: The Inside Story of His Race to Execute Every Prisoner He Could

Before 2020, there had been three federal executions in 60 years. Then Trump put 13 people to death in six months IN THE FINAL moments of Brandon Bernard’s life, before he was executed by lethal injection at a federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, on Dec. 10, 2020, President Donald Trump picked up the phone to entertain a final plea for mercy on Bernard’s behalf. The call was not with Bernard’s family or his attorneys. Nor was it with representatives from the Justice Department’s Pardon Attorney office, who had recommended just days earlier that Trump spare Bernard’s life.

Texas | Gunman accused in El Paso Walmart shooting to plead guilty

The man accused of murdering 23 people at an El Paso Walmart in 2019 will plead guilty to federal hate crimes charges, his attorneys said in a court filing on Saturday.

The announcement comes four days after the Justice Department announced that it would not seek the death penalty in federal charges against Patrick Crusius. The Aug. 3, 2019, mass shooting was the deadliest attack targeting Hispanic people in the nation’s history.

The announcement that Crusius would plead guilty was in a motion filed by defense attorney Felix Valenzuela asking that his client be rearraigned on the federal charges.

“Comes now, Defendant Patrick Wood Crusius, by and through his attorneys, and respectfully moves the Court to set the instant case for a Rearraignment Hearing at the Court’s convenience; Defendant notifies the Court of his intention to enter a plea of guilty to the pending Indictment,” the motion stated.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office hasn’t yet responded to the motion. U.S. District Judge David Guaderrama, who is presiding over the federal charges, has not scheduled a date for rearraignment.

Crusius, 24, of Allen, is charged with 23 counts of hate crime resulting in death, 23 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder in a crime of violence, 22 counts of hate crime in an attempt to kill, and 22 counts of use of a firearm during a crime of violence. With the death penalty off the table, the maximum federal sentence he faces is life in prison.

His federal trial has been scheduled for January 2024.

Crusius also faces state charges that include 23 counts of capital murder, which potentially carry the death penalty. No trial date has been set on the state charges, though 409th District Judge Sam Medrano Jr. has scheduled a status hearing on Wednesday

In court, Crusius’ attorneys have said he has mental illness that would preclude the death penalty.

Law enforcement officials have said Crusius drove 10 hours from North Texas to El Paso on Aug. 3, 2019, before stopping at the Cielo Vista Walmart, where he opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle in the parking lot and in the store.

Moments before he began shooting, Crusius allegedly posted a screed on a website popular with white supremacists saying the attack was “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

This report was originally published by El Paso Matters, a member-supported nonpartisan media organization.

Source: dallasnews.com, Robert Moore, El Paso Matters, January 21, 2023

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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