EL PASO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The judge assigned to preside over the Patrick Crusius El Paso Walmart mass murder trial is asking to be removed from the case.
Judge Angie Barill says she has a conflict of interest because she knew one of the 22 victims killed in the August 3 mass shooting.
She also says she plans to run for office in the Texas 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Here is her full statement on the matter:
On September 17, 2019, late afternoon, I was notified that I was assigned the case of Patrick Wood Crusius. In every case every judge must consider whether there is any reason why such an assignment cannot be accepted.
On September 20, 2019, I met with both the State and the Defense and notified them of the following conflict:
First, I knew one of the deceased and family.
Second, I have publicly given notice in April 2019, that I am a candidate for Chief Justice for the 8th Court of Appeals, therefore, I will not stand for re-election to the 346th State District Court at the end of my term in December 2020. A case of this magnitude should begin with a Judge who can be reasonably sure to see it through to its conclusion.
For these reasons, I am re-submitting this case for transfer/reassignment.
Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.
Crusius admitted to the deadly shooting saying he was targeting Hispanics.