An Indianapolis man has received three consecutive life sentences for killing three people over four days in attacks that authorities say he justified by citing the horror movie, "The Purge."
A Marion County judge Thursday formally sentenced 20-year-old Johnathan Cruz, who pleaded guilty last month to three counts of murder. Prosecutors dropped plans to seek the death penalty. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Cruz will serve a concurrent 16-year sentence for an armed robbery that occurred during the same four-day crime spree.
Cruz was charged with fatally shooting three men during attacks on Indianapolis' east and north sides last spring. Detectives say a witness told them Cruz confessed he'd been "purging" by shooting and robbing people, referring to the 2013 movie with a plot about violent crime, including murder, being legal one night each year.
Prosecutor Terry Curry says the attacks by Cruz were "absolutely random."