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Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

Published on: February 11, 2019 10:35 AM
By: AP
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FILE - This undated Pennsylvania Department of Transportation photo shows Robert Bowers. Bowers, a truck driver accused of killing 11 and wounding seven during an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue in October 2018 is expected to appear Monday morning, Feb. 11, 2019, in a federal courtroom to be arraigned on additional charges.  (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation via AP, File)FILE - This undated Pennsylvania Department of Transportation photo shows Robert Bowers. Bowers, a truck driver accused of killing 11 and wounding seven during an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue in October 2018 is expected to appear Monday morning, Feb. 11, 2019, in a federal courtroom to be arraigned on additional charges.  (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation via AP, File)

Pittsburgh - The suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogogue massacre pleaded not guilty Monday to a new indictment that added 19 additional counts, but his lawyer expressed hope the case will be resolved without a trial.

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Robert Bowers, a truck driver who authorities say gunned down 11 people at Tree of Life Synagogue, appeared in federal court with his new lawyer, prominent death penalty litigator Judy Clarke, who signaled that Bowers might be open to some sort of plea. Clarke’s past clients have included one the Boston Marathon bombers, a 9/11 conspirator and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.

Bowers, who was shackled, said little, giving yes or no answers.

A grand jury on Jan. 29 added 19 counts to the 44 Bowers was already facing. The additional charges include hate crimes violations, obstruction of religious belief and the use of a firearm during crimes of violence.

Bowers, 46, of Baldwin, Pennsylvania, is accused of targeting worshippers from three Jewish congregations when he attacked Saturday, Oct. 27, while Sabbath services were being held.

Seven people were wounded, including five police officers.

Investigators say Bowers posted criticism of a Jewish charity on social media before the attack, claiming the immigrant aid society “likes to bring invaders that kill our people.” Authorities said he told investigators that “all these Jews need to die.”

Bowers has been jailed in the Butler County Prison, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of the shooting scene. If convicted of the most serious offenses, he could be sentenced to life without parole.

A spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh said a decision about whether to pursue the death penalty against Bowers remains under review.

Donna Coufal, a member of the Dor Hadash congregation that occupies space at Tree of Life, said she attended Monday’s arraignment “to bear witness. It’s been a painful time, but we remain strong as a community.”



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 11, 2019 at 11:25 AM Anonymous Says:

sounds like a plea Himmler ymsh would have made

2

 Feb 11, 2019 at 11:52 AM Anonymous Says:

This momzer should also be tried by the State of Pennsylvania (in addition to the Federal Government). The above scenario was following involving the church shooter in Charleston, S.C.

3

 Feb 11, 2019 at 01:16 PM Educated Archy Says:

why must this scumb bag have a court case? why does he get a chnace to make a mockery of us? We have such a wacky justice system. The guy killed out in the open. ts beyond a reasonable reasonable doubt that he is a mass murderer and terrorist. Let him go to a judge and off he goes to the firing squad. We have such a dumb naive justice system.

4

 Feb 11, 2019 at 01:33 PM hashomer Says:

The killer was encouraged by all the hate from herr trumpf. He's one of trumpf's 'good people' or did you forget the nazi torch rally in Virginia already, that was defended by the Demented Fuhrer in the WH?

5

 Feb 11, 2019 at 02:23 PM abilenetx Says:

I am sure with out wonderful system they will give a few years in jail for disturbing the peace so he can get out in a few years and kill a few more, I guess he didn't kill enough that time, maybe next time more will be killed.

6

 Feb 11, 2019 at 07:51 PM Anonymous Says:

To Archy- The firing squad is not used by the federal government. We thought that you were so "educated"? Even the worse piece of garbage has to have due process of law. Otherwise, the government could even come to your house, and liquidate you, if they wished to do so.

7

 Feb 12, 2019 at 10:51 AM Anonymous Says:

To Hashomer- While I didn't particularly like or agree with Trump's "good people on both sides" remark, he was not referring to the Nazis demonstrating against Jews. He meant that some people, had come to show support for the Confederate monuments. However, he should have kept his mouth shut, and not have stated that. When he realized how he screwed up verbally, he should have immediately issued a retraction, instead of dreying for days, and making matters worse. However, you cannot blame Trump for the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting. In 1977, in St. Louis, long before Trump came on the scene, a sniper opened fire outside a St. Louis Synagogue, and killed a congregant. The sniper was later executed. Also, there have been other attacks on Jewish institutions, again, long before Trump came on the scene. To this date, idiots such as yourself, have never apologized to Trump for blaming him for the threats on JCC's, which were in fact coming from an American-Israeli teenager, who has since been convicted and sent to prison in Israel.

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