Jan 23, 2023 - World

El Paso Walmart shooting suspect to plead guilty to federal hate crimes

A crowd of people hold candles at night during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, in 2019.

A candlelight vigil at a makeshift memorial for victims of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The man accused of killing 23 people at an El Paso Walmart in 2019 will plead guilty to federal hate crime charges, his attorneys said in court filings over the weekend.

The big picture: Federal prosecutors announced last week that they would not seek the death penalty in the hate crimes case against Patrick Crusius. A judge on Monday set a new arraignment hearing for Feb. 8.

Catch up quick: Crusius had initially pleaded not guilty to 90 counts under federal hate crime and firearm laws.

  • But Crusius' attorneys on Saturday filed a motion seeking a new arraignment, saying he planned to change his plea to guilty. The federal trial is currently scheduled for next January.
  • Police say Crusius confessed to authorities that he was targeting Mexicans when he drove 10 hours from Allen, Texas, to El Paso to carry out the shooting on Aug. 3, 2019.
  • He posted a racist screed online shortly before the shooting, according to prosecutors.

What to watch: Crusius' trial in state court on capital murder charges has not been set. State prosecutors in El Paso say they still intend to seek the death penalty. Crusius has pleaded not guilty to the state charges.

  • Crusius' attorneys did not immediately respond to Axios' requests for comment.
  • The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment.
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