- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2016

An Indiana man who is accused of killing three men in a four-day span was apparently inspired by the 2013 movie “The Purge,” prosecutors said.

Johnathan Cruz, 19, “now faces three murder charges in connection with the shooting deaths of Billy Boyd and Jay Higginbotham on May 12, and Jose Ruiz on May 15,” the Indianapolis Star reported Thursday. “He also faces a slew of other felony charges connected to the alleged crimes, including robbery, intimidation and more. Prosecutors are also pursuing a criminal gang enhancement.”

Mr. Cruz “talked about leaving town after he’d started his ‘purge,’ ” the Indianapolis Star noted, citing court documents. “The 19-year-old had already killed twice, court documents said, and he told one of his girlfriends he needed to leave Indianapolis ‘asap.’ “

The victims “appeared to be 100 percent random,” prosecutor Terry Curry said in a press conference held Wednesday.

Among other evidence prosecutors disclosed to the media was a text-message exchange between Mr. Cruz and his mother wherein the former apparently answered his mother’s inquiry as to what he was up to with “a screenshot of a news article about the killings of Boyd and Higginbotham,” urging his mother to “[d]elete those after u read it.”



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