The Latest: Friends don't believe 'Purge' slayings charges

AP News
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Posted: Jun 02, 2016 3:09 PM
The Latest: Friends don't believe 'Purge' slayings charges

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on an Indianapolis man charged with killing three people over four nights (all times local):

3 p.m.

Friends of a 19-year-old Indianapolis man say they don't believe he was the type of person who would have fatally shot three people over four nights in attacks authorities say were inspired by horror movie "The Purge."

A Marion County judge entered a not guilty plea for Johnathan Cruz during an initial hearing Thursday on murder and other charges for the attacks starting May 12.

Angela Barger told reporters she was Cruz's girlfriend and that he's not "some type of crazy, violent person."

Court documents cite a witness saying 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 once a year.

Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson says Cruz used the film as at least a justification for the attacks.

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12:30 p.m.

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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This story has been corrected to show that Cruz's first name is spelled Johnathan, not Jonathan.