In a scene straight out of a horror movie, an Indianapolis teen is being charged with the murder of three people over the span of just four days.
According to a witness, 19-year-old Johnathan Cruz claimed he was “purging”.
The teen credited his actions to the 2012 horror flick, “The Purge”, a movie within which society is given 12-hours free of all legal punishment, resulting in chaos and murder.
Inspired by this film, Cruz shot Billy Boyd and Jay Higginbotham, and Jose Ruiz on May 12 and May 15, resulting in three casualties.
"I purge every night now." Photo source: Universal Pictures.
The court judge has entered a not guilty plea for the accused, and held Cruz without bail during his first hearing last Wednesday.
Detectives have found incriminating text messages on the suspect's phone, one chilling message sent on May 2 stating, "I purge every night now."
According to Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson, the phone also includes footage of at least one of the murders.
Murder suspect arrested in Iana Kasian case. Post continues below...
“I can’t get into his mind, but he certainly used the movie as at least his excuse or justification when he was recording himself committing these acts,” she said.
Contrasting witness testimony and evidence, Cruz's girlfriend, Angela Barger, claims to have been with her partner for at least one of the days over which Cruz allegedly committed the murders, claiming that he couldn't be responsible for the atrocious acts.
Ms. Cline breaks down during press conference. Image source: Robert Scheer/AP
“They’re making him out to be some type of crazy, violent person and he’s not,” she said. “Yeah, he had issues, but he wasn’t that violent.”
Mother of Cruz's three-month-old daughter, Ricki Cline, concurred, stating that comparisons to the movie are "irrelevant" and "pointless."
Cruz is scheduled to appear at a hearing for counts of robbery and murder next Thursday.
In a state where death by execution is still a legal punishment, prosecutors predict Cruz may face the death penalty.