This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.
Death Penalty Deadline: The U.S. Attorney’s Office has until Tuesday to decide if federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Patrick Crusius, the man charged with killing 23 people during the Aug. 3, 2019, mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart. By enforcing the Tuesday notice deadline for a decision, the federal judge said attorneys will still have sufficient time to prepare for the trial that is set to start Jan. 8, 2024. Within a week after the federal prosecutors make a decision on the death penalty, state prosecutors are expected to meet with the state judge to talk about deadlines and a possible trial date.
New Solar Facility – El Paso Electric wants to build a 10-megawatt solar facility on 66 acres in San Elizario, according to a notice the utility filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas, which must give final approval. If allowed, the solar facility is expected to generate solar power in 2024 for approximately 5,000 additional homes or small businesses. The proposed site is 13661 Chicken Ranch Road in San Elizario.
MLK Holiday Closings: All school districts, as well as the University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College will be closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. All non-essential federal, state, county and city offices also will be closed. The holiday is observed annually on the third Monday in January. All offices will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 17.