Suspected driver of car used during May 2016 ‘Purge’ killing spree faces murder, robbery charges
UPDATE: Accomplice Steven Clark was sentenced to 16 years in the Department of Correction with 373 days credit for time served. Cruz was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A man is facing charges for his alleged role in two murders committed as part of a violent crime spree in May 2016.
Elijah Brooks has been charged with two counts of felony murder, two counts of robbery and carrying a handgun without a license in connection with the fatal shootings and robberies of Billy Boyd and Jay Higginbotham.
Brooks is accused of being the driver of the car that was used in both deadly incidents in exchange for a cut of the proceeds.
His co-conspirator Johnathan Cruz faces multiple charges in connection with the crime spree. In addition to Boyd and Higginbotham, Cruz is also accused of killing Jose Alberto Ruiz.
The crime spree occurred between May 12 and May 15, 2016. According to court documents, Cruz picked his victims at random and sent text messages that referenced the “Purge” series of movies.
Detectives say Cruz’ cell phone contained evidence of shootings, bloodshed and bragging rights about the killings the accused teen likened to the movie.
“Quite simply, we allege that these were killings for sport and could not be more appropriate for consideration for capital punishment,” said Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry in July 2016.
Court documents show on May 11, 2016, Brooks allegedly stole a vehicle just hours before the murders occurred. Brooks is accused of planning the two fatal robberies with Cruz and driving the stolen vehicle during those crimes.
Boyd’s body was found in the 3900 block of North College Avenue on May 12. Later that morning, Higginbotham’s body was located in the 900 block of North Denny Street.
Brooks was previously charged with robbery resulting in bodily injury for his role in the May 11 robbery.
A third man, Steven Clark, aka Rayvaughn Wood, was charged with armed robbery for his alleged role in the May 14 robbery with Cruz.
Curry is seeking the death penalty for Cruz.