Indiana prosecutor to seek death penalty in ‘Purge’ killings

Jonathan+Cruz

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) A prosecutor says he will seek the death penalty in the case of a 19-year-old Indianapolis man charged with fatally shooting three people over four days in May.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said at a news conference Tuesday that Johnathan Cruz killed the three “for sport,” describing the killings as “beyond senseless.” Curry says Cruz based the killings on the horror movie “The Purge,” which is about one day a year when murder is legal. Cruz has pleaded not guilty in the shootings of Billy Boyd and Jay Higginbotham on May 12 and Jose Ruiz on May 15.

According to court documents, detectives said a witness told them Cruz confessed he had been “purging” by shooting and robbing people.

Police: Suspect in Indiana killings inspired by ‘Purge’ film
June 2, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) A 19-year-old Indianapolis man is charged with killing three people over four nights, and authorities say he was inspired by horror movie “The Purge.”

Court documents say a witness told detectives that Johnathan Cruz told her he was “purging.” Police said this refers to the 2013 movie starring Ethan Hawke in which crimes could be committed without fear of prosecution over a 12-hour period.

Cruz’s initial hearing on murder, robbery and other felony counts is scheduled Thursday in Indianapolis. Police say Cruz shot and killed Billy Boyd and Jay Higginbotham on May 12 and Jose Ruiz on May 15.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry called the attacks “100 percent random” and that he would consider seeking the death penalty.

Cruz is already in jail in an unrelated case.

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