Crusius' defense in El Paso Walmart shootings may cost taxpayers more than $450,000

Crusius defense costs

EL PASO, Texas - Alleged Walmart shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, qualified for appointment of an attorney under El Paso County's 'Indigent Defense Plan.'

What that means is that the court appointed a local attorney to represent him, which in this case is attorney Joe Spencer.

If the name sounds familiar, that's because you may remember Spencer successfully defended Daniel Villegas in his third murder trial.

Spencer will be joined by prominent San Antonio attorney Mark Stevens.

A spokesman for the Texas Council of Judges spokesman believes the cost of the Crusius trial may be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

That spokesman said they continue researching similar trials, but admits local courts have never experienced anything like this. The only estimate they have come up with so far is a capital murder trial which had a cost of $450,000.

It's not yet known whether the money will come from the county, state or federal dollars. But either way, those dollars are tax dollars.

As for the trial itself, there has been no request yet by either the district attorney or the defense for a change of venue, which would increase the cost of the case.

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