The man accused of killing 22 people and injuring more than two dozen others in the August 3rd shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart plead not guilty at his first appearance in court Thursday afternoon.
Amid the clicking shutters of cameras and the hushed whispers of those in attendance in the packed El Paso County Ceremonial Courtroom, Patrick Crusius entered and at times stood with a neutral look on his face as the arraignment proceedings went on around him.
Security was tight in and around the court, as uniformed Sheriff’s Deputies, as well as other law enforcement were visible. Several deputies stood side by side, facing the courtroom’s gallery.
During the brief hearing, Crusius was sworn in, and then advised the court that he did not want the charges read to him; instead Crusius received a transcript and read them himself.
He then pleaded not guilty to the charges, surrounded by his lawyers and security personnel.
Judge Sam Medrano, of the 409th state District Court presiding over the hearing, then set another hearing for November 7th at 2 p.m.
District Attorney Jaime Esparza did not comment on the case. Esparza is seeking the death penalty in this case.
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