EL PASO, Texas (KTSM-NEXSTAR) – The judge who was assigned the case of the suspected El Paso Walmart shooter has declined the case, citing a conflict of interest.
Judge Angie Juarez Barill said, in a letter sent from the El Paso Council of Judges, that she is re-submitting the case for either transfer or re-assignment because she knew one of the people killed in the shooting and because she will be running for appeals court position and won’t be on the bench past 2020.
Barill was assigned the Capital Murder case of Patrick Crusius, 21, earlier this month. The El Paso County Clerk has said the case is randomly assigned using a computer program. It is unclear what the process will be going forward.
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.Judge Angie Juarez Barill