Patrick Crusius, who is serving a life sentence for killing 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso in a rampage targeting Hispanics has agreed to pay the victims’ families more than $5.5 million, Courthouse News reports. Crusius, 25, was sentenced to 90 consecutive life sentences in July after he pleaded guilty to a 90-count indictment, including hate crime charges. He consented to paying the victims’ relatives $5.57 million in a motion filed by federal prosecutors and his defense attorneys and approved Monday by Senior U.S. District Judge David Guaderrama. Crusius entered a plea agreement in his federal case in February after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. H still faces state capital murder charges that could result in a death sentence. El Paso County District Attorney Bill Hicks hopes Crusius’ state trial will happen in 2024 or 2025. Federal law requires restitution for victims of violent crimes, regardless of the defendant's ability to pay.
It is not clear that Crusius, who reportedly grew up in an upper middle-class household, has enough money in his federal prisoner deposit account to cover the payment. Still, officials said people he wounded are entitled to restitution. "Where the victim is deceased, the restitution is payable to the victim’s estate. Although no amount of restitution can account for the loss of life and injuries this defendant caused, the Department of Justice works to ensure not only that those who commit crimes are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law but also that the victims receive justice," a federal spokesperson said. Ensuring each victim’s right to restitution is part of achieving justice for victims. We work diligently to ensure the defendant is ordered to reimburse them for their losses." After driving 10 hours overnight from his suburban Dallas home to El Paso, Crusius opened fire with an assault rifle, spraying bullets at shoppers outside and inside the store the morning of Aug. 3, 2019. He wounded 22 people in addition to the nearly two dozen he killed.