EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Despite the U.S. Department of Justice announcing federal prosecutors will not be seeking death penalty for Patrick Crusius, the alleged Walmart shooter, new El Paso District Attorney Bill Hicks announced the state will proceed with a capital punishment trial.

Hicks said in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that the state will continue seeking justice for the El Paso community after Crusius is tried in federal court.

“The state is not able to prosecute the Walmart shooter until he gets out of federal custody and until we get him to state custody. So, until that happens, we will not be able to go forward without the (federal) prosecution,” Hicks explained.

Former Mayor Dee Margo also reacted to the DOJ’s decision saying he is “exceptionally disappointed,” but also expressing his confidence in Hicks’s office.

“You can’t finalize any closure until that trial has been completed,” Margo said.

Margo was in office when the shooting happened, and now over three years later, the alleged shooter’s trial has still not started.

Dolph Quijano, retired criminal defense attorney with over 40 years of experience in the field, explained death penalty cases are extremely complex.

Quijano has been a part of nine capital murder cases, six of which were death penalty cases.

He said he is suprised that the federal government didn’t seek capital punishment with more resources than the state, as it can get costly to try such cases.

There are numerous reasons that make a death penalty case so lengthy, such as the way the jury is selected, according to Quijano.

He explained that in these cases, the jury is selected via voir dire, a preliminary examination to determine the impartiality of each juror.

The case can get costly as well, due to numerous expert witnesses and out-of-town witnesses that need to be thoroughly examined.

Hicks said the state still has remaining resources from the $3 million grant awarded by the governor but said that they will apply for more if needed.

“Since the very beginning of my appointment, it’s to get this case back on track,” Hicks said.

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