Pittsburgh synagogue shooter pleads not guilty to charges
WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- The suspect charged with killing 11 people at a synagogue in the U.S. city of Pittsburgh pleaded not guilty on Thursday, according to records of court proceedings.
The suspect, Robert Bowers, has requested a jury trial to determine whether he is guilty of the 44-count indictment pressed against him by prosecutors Wednesday.
The charges included "use and discharge of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence," among others.
This is his second appearance before a federal court. Local media reported that he was wheelchaired into the courtroom due to injuries sustained during his horrific attack. In court proceedings he told the judge that he understood the charges against him.
Prosecutors said a trial would take three to four weeks unless the case is certified for the death penalty.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Bowers faces a maximum possible penalty of death, or life without parole, followed by a consecutive sentence of 535 years' imprisonment.
According to Bowers' indictment, the 46-year-old truck driver drove to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday morning and opened fire on the congregation. Bowers surrendered himself to police after the attack and was taken into custody.
Bowers allegedly expressed anti-semitic sentiments on social media before he carried out the attack, making the shooting the worst anti-semitic attack in U.S. history. U.S. President Donald Trump said he supported giving Bowers the death sentence.