EL PASO, Texas - A high-profile Denver attorney has been appointed to represent the accused gunman in the El Paso mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart on Aug. 3.
David Lane's law office, Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP, confirmed with ABC-7 on Wednesday that Lane has been assigned to 21-year-old Patrick Crusius' legal team to represent the suspect in federal court.
“I have accepted this appointment because I believe the Constitution of the United States of America has got to be preserved protected and defended vigorously in order for all of us to maintain our freedom,” Lane said in a statement. “This includes the 6th Amendment’s right to counsel which is among the most cherished rights we have.”
According to his firm's website, Lane has practiced law for over 30 years and is certified by the federal courts to handle death penalty cases. ABC affiliate KMGH in Denver reports that Lane has handled numerous high-profile cases in Colorado during his career.
Crusius is suspected of opening fire in the El Paso Walmart, claiming the lives of 22 people and injuring nearly two dozen others. El Paso police said he was "targeting Mexicans."
The suspect is facing charges in El Paso County, different from the federal charges he will face. The local charges include capital murder.
As ABC-7 has previously reported, the FBI has been investigating the case as a hate crime and act of domestic terrorism, along with potential firearms violations. Such charges could also carry the possibility of a death sentence.
A federal complaint has not yet been filed, meaning the exact federal charges he is facing are still unknown.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen told a City Council meeting at the beginning of August that Crusius will face dual prosecution by the state and federal government.
Top San Antonio attorney Mark Stevens has been appointed to represent Crusius in state court. He will be joined by another prominent local attorney, Joe Spencer.