A gunman who killed 11 people and wounded seven others at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October pleaded not guilty to new charges in federal court on Monday.
A grand jury had added 19 counts last month to the 44 that Robert Bowers had faced in the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. The new charges include hate crime violations, obstruction of religious belief and the use of a firearm during crimes of violence.
Lawyer Judy Clarke, whose past clients include Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and one of the Boston Marathon bombers, said Monday the defense hopes the case can be resolved without going to trial.
Authorities say Bowers, 46, targeted three Jewish congregations during Sabbath services on Oct. 27. He told investigators that “all these Jews need to die.”
He also criticized a Jewish charity on social media before the attack, claiming the immigrant aid society “likes to bring invaders that kill our people.”
Bowers is being held in the Butler County Prison, about 35 miles north of the synagogue. He faces life in prison without parole if convicted, and federal prosecutors could decide to pursue the death penalty.