A jury sentenced Patrick Crusius to 90 consecutive life prison sentences Friday after he murdered 23 victims inside a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in August 2019.
Crusius, 24, pleaded guilty to 90 charges, half of them being federal hate crimes, CNN reported. The charges include 23 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, 23 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence, 22 counts of hate crimes involving intent to kill and 22 counts of use of firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
The sentencing hearing began Wednesday morning at the U.S. courthouse in El Paso and started with a discussion of the presentence report and an opportunity for the defense and plaintiff to face the court.
The shooter initially pleaded not guilty in July 2020, but changed his plea in February after federal prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty if he pleaded guilty, CNN reported. The plea agreement arranged for him to potentially receive the 90 consecutive life sentences and be spared the death penalty.
However, Crusius could still face the death penalty at the state level, according to The Texas Tribune. State prosecutors are currently charging him and have vowed to seek the death penalty.
Crusius wrote a nearly 2,400 word anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic manifesto believed to have been published just minutes before the shooting. It outlined his “political” and “economic” reasonings for the attack and blamed both Republicans and Democrats for allowing unfettered immigration into the U.S. (RELATED: El Paso Shooting Suspect Placed On Suicide Watch: Report)
His manifesto also called for violent action to be taken in order to preserve the white population in the country.
“This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion,” the manifesto read. “[I]t makes no sense to keep on letting millions of illegal or legal immigrants flood into the United States, and to keep the tens of millions that are already here.”