EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — El Paso District Attorney Bill Hicks on Thursday shared details about the timeline to get the El Paso Walmart shooting state trial started after the federal case ends.
Hicks explained what needs to happen once Patrick Crusius receives his sentence in federal court.
"After that sentencing [in federal court] there is a paperwork process. Once that paperwork process is complete the shooter [Crusius] will come into state custody and we will proceed with our case in state custody,” said Hicks.
After Crusius is sentenced, it could take anywhere from two to four weeks for him to transition into state custody, Hicks explained.
"The number one priority of my office has been to put the Walmart case back on track and I’m very confident that we have done that, that we are prepared to proceed with prosecution on the case and that once he is back in our custody, looks like it will be sometime late June maybe early August, will be ready to proceed with the prosecution of that case," said Hicks.
Crusius faces a potential death sentence if he’s convicted on a state capital murder charge. Hicks announced the state is seeking the death penalty in January.
"We have not changed our election on that, there will be further announcements forthcoming," said Hicks.
Hicks also addressed if the state trial will take place in El Paso.
“The change of venue issue is one that we would have to take up after the case is set for trial and we determine whether or not we would be able to achieve a jury here in El Paso. I believe that all parties would like to try the case here in El Paso,” Hicks added.
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Crusius' sentencing hearing in the federal trial will start on June 30 at 9 a.m. inside the United States Courthouse in El Paso.
The hearing is expected to last multiple days, according to a court order signed by U.S. District Judge David C. Guaderrama on Wednesday.
On June 30, the pre-sentence report will be discussed and if any objections are announced, they will be resolved, the document states.
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Crusius, who killed 23 people and injured 22 others in a shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart on Aug. 3, 2019, will also be given a chance to speak to the courtroom before he is sentenced.
Victim impact statements will be heard on July 5 at 10 a.m.
The court said it expects this portion of the hearing to take multiple days, according to the document.
At 10 a.m. on the day immediately following the last victim impact statement, the U.S. government will have an opportunity to deliver any remarks and Crusius will receive his sentence from the judge.
Prosecutors said Crusius drove more than 10 hours from his hometown near Dallas to El Paso and published a document online shortly before the shooting that said it was “in response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
On Feb. 8, Crusius plead guilty to 23 counts of committing a hate crime resulting in death, 23 counts of using a firearm to commit murder during or in relation to a crime of violence, 22 counts of committing a hate crime involving an attempt to kill and 22 counts of using a firearm during and in retaliation of a crime of violence.
Crusius entered a plea agreement with the prosecution and may face 90 consecutive life sentences. He also may have to pay restitution and any fines set by the court.
By pleading guilty, Crusius waived his right to appeal his conviction or challenge the sentence.
Federal prosecutors announced they would not be seeking the death penalty against Crusius on Jan. 17.
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