The judge assigned to preside over the trial of the El Paso Walmart shooting has recused herself, citing a conflict of interest.
State District Judge Angie Juárez Barill announced Wednesday, a week after being assigned the case, that she has rejected the assignment because she knows the family of one of the 22 people killed in the early August massacre.
Barill also said she wants someone “who can be reasonably sure to see (the trial) through to its conclusion." Her term ends in December 2020.
Patrick Crusius, 21, has been charged with capital murder in the massacre after police say he opened fire in the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter, then moved inside the building.
Police say Crusius admitted that he was targeting “Mexicans” and linked him to an online manifesto decrying the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
Prosecutors have said they intend to seek the death penalty for Crusius.
It’s unclear how the replacement judge will be selected.