Alleged Walmart shooter expected in federal court Wednesday

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The man accused of killing 22 people inside the Cielo Vista Walmart on August 3 is scheduled to make his first appearance in federal court in Downtown El Paso Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors announced the indictment of Patrick Crusius on 90 federal hate crimes last week. The indictment included 22 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, 23 hate crimes involving an attempt to kill, and 45 counts of discharging a firearm in relation to those hate crimes.

In two separate motions filed by Crusius’ attorney David Lane on Tuesday, his defense argued against transporting Crusius in public view and also argued against presenting Crusius in jail clothing with visible shackles.

Lane argued against Crusius being “paraded in public and compelled to appear in court in jail clothes and restrained in shackles, handcuffs, manacles, leg irons, stun belts, and similar restraints.”

“Because of the widespread media attention to this case, it is certain that members of the public who at some point will be asked to serve on this jury will view the news coverage. It will be impossible to “unring the bell” of viewing Mr. Crusius shackled and wearing jail garb,” the motion read.

There are no cameras allowed in federal court. However, Federal Judge David Guaderrama agreed to the motion, stating “if the Government seeks an order that the defendant be transported to or from court or appear in court in jail clothes or visible shackles, the Government must demonstrate that a compelling government purpose exists, that said purpose and would be served and that shackles and/or jail clothes are the least restrictive means for maintaining security and order in the courtroom.”

As a result of the motion, Crusius’ transportation to and from the federal court will be done so by US Marshals “privately and safely.”

Crusius is facing separate charges in District Court for which he has already made his first appearance and entered a not guilty plea.

The federal hearing begins at 10 a.m.

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