Accused El Paso Shooter Appears Before Magistrate Judge

Suspected shooter held without bond; case to go to grand jury after investigation is complete

Patrick Crusius, the 21-year-old Dallas-area man accused of killing 22 and injuring dozens of others in a shooting spree Saturday in El Paso, appeared before El Paso Magistrate Judge Penny Hamilton Sunday.

In a phone interview, Hamilton told NBC News Crusius was lucid and attentive in responding to her questions.

Hamilton said Crusius was given his magistrate warnings (Miranda) and ordered held without bond. The judge advised Crusius of his right to a court-appointed attorney, which he accepted.

Once the investigation into the shooting is complete, the case will be presented to an El Paso County grand jury.

Claudia Duran, an administrator in the El Paso County District Attorney's Office, confirmed the district attorney will pursue capital murder charges against Crusius and will ask for the death penalty.

In Texas, convictions in capital murder cases are either life in prison without parole or death, and the determination for punishment is made by the prosecutor before the trial begins.

There is no timeline for when Crusius' case will be presented to the grand jury.

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