EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)-The case against Walmart shooting suspect Patrick Crusius took a big step forward with Judge Angie Juarez Barrill of the 364th District Court now assigned to the case.
With the judge now assigned, prosecutors and defense attorneys can now file legal motions. With that said, it’s expected defense attorneys will request to move the trial out of El Paso County.
KTSM spoke with longtime local defense attorney Jim Darnell who weighed in on what could come next in the trial.
“I think there will be a motion for change of venue filed,” Darnell said.
Darnell said the raw emotions of the Sun City may lead to this request.
“That was the reason they went outside of town to get lead counsel on the case, it’s too close to home,” Darnell said.
Darnell said many factors could decide where the trial takes place.
“It depends on where there’s a courtroom, whats convenient under the code, they’re supposed to look at the next county over but that wouldn’t work, you couldn’t do this in Hudspeth county,” Darnell said. “Odessa-Midland just had their own disaster so you can’t look there, so this is going to have to go East or North somewhere in the state.
The local attorney said this capital murder case is unlike anything El Paso County has seen before and he expects it will be months before the trial begins.
“It will take some doing and there will probably be some counties not too crazy about having this case in their courthouse,” Darnell said.
Darnell said he expects judges to have a difficult time narrowing down a county for the case if they grant a motion to change the venue.
“In San Antonio, demographics are similar to El Pas, Dallas and Houston are hard to get into and the suburbs around there are where this guy came from,” Darnell said.
Whether the trial is held in El Paso County or not, Darnell said he’s confident in the legal process.
“The judges here are good judges they’ll do the right thing and ultimately justice will be served,” Darnell said.