Texas prosecutor resigns amid 2019 Walmart attack criticism
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A Texas prosecutor facing mounting criticism over the handling of the 2019 Walmart mass shooting in El Paso that killed 23 people resigned Monday after the county took the extraordinary step of seeking to remove her from elected office.
El Paso County District Attorney Yvonne Rosales, a Democrat who was elected in 2020, agreed to resign during a court hearing Monday, El Paso television station KTSM reported. Her last day will be Dec. 14.
Rosales’ job was put in jeopardy over accusations of incompetence involving hundreds of criminal cases in El Paso and slowing down the case against Patrick Crusius, the suspected Walmart shooter who faces the death penalty if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty.
El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal wrote last week in an amended petition that when it came to the Walmart shooting, Rosales’ office “could not even tell the court what work had been done on this case in the last few months.”
Rosales’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. Her successor for the remainder of her term, which expires in 2024, will be chosen by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
“Under the best of circumstances, holding public office is difficult. I appreciate that DA Rosales’ decision to resign was a difficult one,” Bernal said in a statement, according to the El Paso Times.
Crusius was arrested soon after the Aug. 3, 2019, shooting. Police later said he confessed to driving to border city from his home near Dallas to target Mexicans. Soon before the attack, he posted a racist screed online that railed against Hispanics coming to the U.S., according to prosecutors.