Prosecutors seek life without parole or death penalty for teen accused in San Diego synagogue attack

  
Via:  tessylo  •  3 months ago  •  12 comments

Prosecutors seek life without parole or death penalty for teen accused in San Diego synagogue attack

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Prosecutors seek life without parole or death penalty for teen accused in San Diego synagogue attack



aaaa2f80-fa39-11e8-8fbf-da9c00b689c4 Rebecca Plevin and Jorge L. Ortiz and Joel Shannon,USA TODAY 14 hours ago 















Suspect in California synagogue shooting pleads not guilty









SAN DIEGO – Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of life without parole or the death penalty for John T. Earnest, the 19-year-old man accused of killing a woman and wounding three others in a synagogue attack outside San Diego on Saturday.

At his first court hearing Tuesday, Earnest pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder with a special circumstance of a hate crime. He also faces three charges of attempted murder.

Sitting behind glass panes and wearing glasses, Earnest appeared to be looking straight at Judge Joseph Brannigan of San Diego County Superior Court, showing no emotion.

Brannigan said Earnest would be held without bail, calling him "an obvious and extraordinary risk to public safety.''

Authorities say Earnest burst into a Passover service at the Chabad of Poway synagogue and started shooting, killing 60-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye and injuring Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein and two worshippers.

Leonard Trinh, hate crimes prosecutor for the district attorney's office, said a determination on whether to pursue the death penalty would be made later by DA Summer Stephan. There is currently a moratorium on capital punishment in California.

Stephan said at a news conference that hate crimes are especially heinous because they victimize all members of the religion, race or sexual orientation under attack.

Asked about the possibility of the death penalty, she said, "We consider this to be an atrocious crime for which there must be accountability.”

Stephan said Earnest is believed to have purchased the weapon legally but was unable to provide details on how or when that occurred. 

He is slated to have a May 30 readiness hearing and a July 8 preliminary hearing.

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Trinh provided more details about the assault, saying Earnest fired eight to 10 rounds before his AR-style rifle jammed. Trinh also said Earnest had a tactical vest, helmet and 50 bullets at the time of his arrest.


When his rifle malfunctioned, Earnest was chased away by a congregant with military experience who began yelling at him.  

"It could have been such a bloodbath," said Goldstein, who sustained wounds to both his hands and lost his right index finger in the assault.

More: Family of girl injured in Poway synagogue shooting: We fled violence in Israel. We thought it was safe here

Related: 'It could've been me': Hundreds turn out at Poway synagogue to mourn Lori Gilbert Kaye, denounce hate

Earnest shot Kaye twice before firing at Goldstein, according to Trinh. He said the suspect fired several additional rounds and shrapnel struck a man and his 8-year-old niece, wounding both.

When Earnest returned to his car, Trinh said, an off-duty Border Patrol Agent fired several rounds in his direction, striking the vehicle once. The incident was captured on surveillance tape.

After he fled, the defendant called 911 and told the dispatcher his location about two miles away. He was wearing the vest, and a rifle with five loaded magazines and a tactical helmet were found in the car, Trinh said.

San Diego Sheriff William Gore said Earnest posted an online “manifesto” in which he criticized Jews and also celebrated the slaying of 50 Muslims at shootings at two mosques last month in Christchurch, New Zealand. The manifesto echoes common white supremacist themes.

Earnest, a nursing student at nearby Cal State San Marcos, was an accomplished scholar, athlete and piano player whose embrace of white supremacy and anti-Semitism has dumbfounded those who thought they knew him well.

His family released a statement Monday decrying Earnest's actions, distancing themselves from the horror he had caused and expressing condolences to the people he had harmed at the synagogue in Poway, 20 miles north of San Diego.

"Like our other five children, he was raised in a family, a faith and a community that all
rejected hate and taught that love must be the motive for everything we do,'' the statement said. "How our son was attracted to such darkness is a terrifying mystery to us, though we are confident that law enforcement will uncover many details of the path that he took to this evil and despicable act."

Stephan said it's not surprising the suspect’s family may not have noticed their son radicalizing because the process often takes place in privacy online.

Earnest apparently became radicalized sometime over the last two years. Before that, he counted Jews and black people among his friends. His father, John A. Earnest, is a popular physics teacher at Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego, which his son attended.

Owen Cruise, 20, said saw he saw the younger Earnest at school every day during their senior year when they took calculus and physics together. They were also in the school’s amateur radio club.

“He was very close to his dad,” Cruise said. “He always hung out in his classroom, came to see him at lunch. He always seemed like a nice guy … He didn’t seem like the type of person who would go off the deep end.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Prosecutors seek life without parole or death penalty for teen accused in San Diego synagogue attack


















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Tessylo
1  seeder  Tessylo    3 months ago

The 'president' needs to stop inciting hatred.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
2  seeder  Tessylo    3 months ago

San Diego Sheriff William Gore said Earnest posted an online “manifesto” in which he criticized Jews and also celebrated the slaying of 50 Muslims at shootings at two mosques last month in Christchurch, New Zealand. The manifesto echoes common white supremacist themes.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
3  Trout Giggles    3 months ago

I didn't think California had the death penalty

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Trout Giggles @3    3 months ago

They don't.  

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
3.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tessylo @3.1    3 months ago

LOL! Are they bringing it back just for this guy?

I apologize for laughing about something so serious

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.1.2  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.1.1    3 months ago

It's okay TG.  It's either laugh or cry - as these horrific events seem to be happening on a daily basis now.  

'Leonard Trinh, hate crimes prosecutor for the district attorney's office, said a determination on whether to pursue the death penalty would be made later by DA Summer Stephan. There is currently a moratorium on capital punishment in California.'

 
 
 
†hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh
4  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh    3 months ago

Someone didn't read the manifesto.

He clearly states he despises Trump so one can easily infer Trump would not be the motivator, but Trump

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1  JohnRussell  replied to  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh @4    3 months ago

When Trump was sworn in, later that day a neo Nazi group held a meeting in DC where they gave a "Heil Trump" stiff armed salute. That was in line with trump's many retweetings of and dog whistles to white supremacists and white nationalists. 

White nationalists don't hate Trump. They just want him to go further in line with themselves. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
5  Sean Treacy    3 months ago

Too bad that Trump hating bigot can't be executed.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Sean Treacy @5    3 months ago

Do you want him executed for being a trmp hater or a bigot?

Don't worry looks like CA might reinstate the DP just for him

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.1.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.1    3 months ago

My thoughts exactly TG!  I'm sure it's for the former.  

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
6  Transyferous Rex    3 months ago

Execute his ass in the public square. I keep hearing that such a thing may encourage more incidents. Well, the shit we are doing doesn't appear to have any deterring effect. 

 
 
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