On Friday, the white guy who killed 23 Hispanic people at a Walmart in a Texas border town was sentenced to 90 years in prison, 90 consecutive life terms, and the possibility of execution.
In one of the largest prosecutions of its kind in U.S. history, 24-year-old Patrick Crusius pled guilty to nearly 50 federal hate crime charges in connection with the 2019 El Paso mass shooting.
Crusius, who was present at the hearing but restrained in a jumpsuit, did not offer any comments or react to the verdict. The judge recommended that Crusius be sent to a high-security prison in Colorado.
Crusius, according to the police, traveled around 700 miles from his home near Dallas to open fire on Hispanics both inside and outside the store with an AK-style rifle. Crusius had just before the event posted a racist rant about a Hispanic “invasion” of Texas.
Republicans have used the term “invasion” to describe the influx of migrants crossing the southern U.S. border since the shooting, drawing condemnation for fueling anti-immigrant sentiment and violence.
After federal prosecutors halted their pursuit of the death penalty in February, Crusius entered a guilty plea. State prosecutors in Texas intend to seek Crusius’s execution. The trial date is still up in the air.
As Crusius left the courtroom, a victim’s relative yelled at him from the gallery.
You coward, you will return. No apologies.”
Prior to sentencing, Crusius’s attorney, Joe Spencer, told the judge that his client had a “broken brain.”
According to Spencer’s testimony, Patrick’s “delusional thinking” is the result of his beliefs being at war with reality.
According to Spencer, Crusius left his work at a movie theater because of his hostile attitude. Crusius, he added, had been having mental health problems and had dropped out of a Dallas community college while looking for help online.
Spencer stated that Crusius arrived in El Paso without a goal in mind and immediately went to Walmart.
According to Spencer, “Patrick’s broken brain cemented in delusions” led him to take the actions he did.
U.S. District Judge David Guaderrama in El Paso handed down the punishment after hearing from Mexican and American victims’ families over two days. Over twenty-five people were harmed, and many more fled in panic.
Members of the family explained to Crusius how individually devastating loss and sorrow have been. Crusius was pardoned by some. A witness claimed he saw a man demanding the killer look at pictures of his dead father.
Bertha Benavides’s husband, Arturo, was 34 years old.
As she reminded Crusius, “you left children without parents, spouses without spouses, and we still need them.”
Crusius bowed his head and swiveled in his chair occasionally during victim statements. Victims wept on Thursday as Crusius was questioned about the shootings. Crusius indicated he would not respond while speaking with his lawyer.
Crusius’s loved ones skipped the sentencing hearing.
The database was created by The Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University. It shows that this incident was the deadliest of 12 mass shootings tied to hate crimes since 2006.
Before the shooting, Crusius endorsed President Trump’s tough border policies and tweeted, “Build the Wall.” In his rant before the attack, he predicted that Hispanics will soon control the federal government and the economy.
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Immigrant rights activists have asked lawmakers to avoid divisive language about immigration during sentencing. Republicans, led by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, have pushed for stricter border controls.
Amaris Vega’s mother was attacked and suffered a softball-sized cut to the chest, but she managed to pull through. Vega criticized Crusius’s “pathetic, sorry manifesto” in court.
What did you expect? And you didn’t. His attempt was futile. In the meanwhile, we’ll be remaining put. We spent four years in a predominantly Hispanic urban area. Therefore, think about it.
For Margaret Juarez, whose 90-year-old father was murdered and whose mother was injured but survived, it seemed ironic that Crusius would spend the rest of his life in prison alongside people of different races and ethnicities. Everyone in the courtroom cheered when she announced their release.
She suggested that Crusius “swim in prison.” “Let’s go out and bask in the rays of the sun. Freedom reigns in our land.
A high school athlete, age 15, and many grandparents, all in their 80s, passed away recently. Numerous Mexican nationals came into the United States for shopping, along with immigrants, teachers, craftsmen, a former iron worker, and a retired municipal bus driver.
Outside the store, two young women were collecting donations for their youth soccer team when they recalled how they had almost escaped Crusius’ wrath. Guillermo Garcia, the soccer team’s coach, passed just a few months later.
Both of the adolescents reported that they are still terrified of another mass massacre.
Survivor Kathleen Johnson recalled, “There was his innocent blood, everywhere; he was shot at close range by a coward.” David Johnson was shot and killed. I have no idea when I’ll feel normal again. Unimaginable suffering is your doing.
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