Indianapolis ‘Purge’ killer receives three consecutive life sentences

Johnathan Cruz faced three life sentences for murders inspired by movie (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Marion County criminal case that came to be known as the “Purge Murders” came to a close on Thursday.

The Indianapolis man who admitted to being inspired by a movie to kill three people heard his sentence almost exactly a year after prosecutors said Johnathan Cruz committed his first murder.

Cruz received three consecutive life sentences in the killings plus an additional 16 years for armed robbery, for a total of 195 years. He will not be eligible for parole.

“Pursuant to this agreement, Johnathan Cruz has admitted to the absolutely senseless murders of Billy Boyd, Jay Higginbotham, and Jose Ruiz, for which he will spend his life in prison with no possibility of parole,” Prosecutor Terry Curry said after the plea was announced in April. “We are pleased that this resolution will provide certainty and finality for the families of Billy Boyd, Jay Higginbotham and Jose Ruiz.”

Cruz was 19 years old when police arrested him for a killing spree that occurred in May 2016, murdering Billy Boyd, Jay Higginbotham and Jose Alberto Ruiz.

In April 2017, Cruz admitted to the crimes by changing his plea to guilty and signing a plea agreement.

Cruz said he chose his victims at random, inspired by a movie in which all crime is legal for a single day.

If the plea agreement is accepted by a judge, Cruz will receive three life sentences without the possibility of parole for three counts of murder and additional years for robbery charges.

The agreement replaced the Marion County Prosecutor’s original plan to seek the death penalty.

Two other men have also been charged in the case.

Elijah Brooks has pending charges related to the murders of Boyd and Higginbotham.

Steven Clark is back in court on June 6 for his role in the armed robbery.

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