Attorneys for the defendant in the Walmart shooting, Patrick Crusius, filed a response Monday to a hearing objection filed by the El Paso District Attorney’s Office on Nov. 7, which came just days after the resignation of El Paso Assistant District Attorney Curtis Cox.
In his Nov. 3 letter, Cox did not provide any details regarding his resignation from the case, but directed that “all further communications and filings regarding this matter be directed henceforth to (El Paso District Attorney ) Yvonne Rosales”.
The Nov. 7 filing objected to a Nov. 30 status hearing to discuss, in part, the ad litem report filed by El Paso attorney Justin Underwood, which among other things claimed the court judge Mayor of Cox, Rosales and Vinton, Roger Rodriguez, had breached the gag order. order in the case and threatened family members of a victim of the August 3, 2019 shooting.
Lawyer for Walmart shooting victim’s family alleges DA’s office violated gag order
In Monday’s filing, attorneys Mark Stevens, Joe Spencer and Felix Valenzuela lay out a litany of grievances, including their ongoing struggle to serve subpoenas on Rosales, Cox and Rodriguez, claiming process servers have tried and failed more than 15 times to locate Rosales.
“The bailiffs attempted to serve Rosales at her office, to no avail; they attempted to serve her at her home, to no avail; they attempted to serve her via her personal cell phone, to no avail; they attempted to serve her at office of her attorney Luis Yañez, to no avail; they attempted to serve her through her chief investigator, to no avail,” the filing said. “Furthermore, process servers attempted to serve Cox approximately more than five times, attempting to reach him at home and at his office, all to no avail.
“District Attorney Advisor and duly elected judge Roger Rodriguez has also seen fit to evade proper service of court process; this duly elected municipal court judge is also nowhere to be found,” the filing continues. “The number of serve attempts is quite extraordinary.”
The filing claims that the three “thwart the same criminal justice system to which they swear loyalty” to “prevent the testimony, the record, the evidence from being developed in a public hearing.”
“The Court should not fall prey to their fraud tactics,” the filing states. “Instead of complying with legal process, these officials are hiding behind self-created smokescreens and pretending to ignore the substance of the legal proceedings.”
The El Paso District Attorney’s Office accused Underwood of bias in response to his ad litem report, saying he “shown manifest bias in the preparation of his report, in that “He had been observed on social media during this period publicly advocating for the removal of the Public Prosecutor.”
El Paso DA’s Office Claims Bias in Attorney Underwood’s Gag Order Violation Report
The response further reiterated many of Rosales’ claims in his attempt to have a petition for his removal dismissed, in particular that Underwood was involved in a conspiracy alongside El Paso Matters CEO Bob Moore and the attorney Omar Carmona, who filed the petition. against her.
Monday’s filing represents another diversion in the case against Crusius, which has been repeatedly derailed by tit-for-tat exchanges initiated by the district attorney’s office.
“Based on the outrageous conduct of the duly elected district attorney and his aides in this case and as set forth in Ad Litem’s report, defense counsel is filing this response in order to protect the constitutional rights of the ‘accused,’ Crusius’ attorneys say in Monday’s Filing. “As the Court is well aware, capital proceedings are more complex in every respect than a standard criminal case.”
Lawyers urge the court to overrule the objections at the Nov. 30 status hearing and proceed as scheduled.
Paul Ferris, spokesman for the El Paso District Attorney’s Office, could not be reached for comment, but previously declined to comment on questions about the Walmart shooting case due to the order. of July gag.