US Won’t Seek Death Penalty For California Chabad Shooter

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019 file photo defendant John Earnest listens during testimony during his preliminary hearing in Superior Court in San Diego. Legislation proposed Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, would require closer scrutiny of California hunting licenses like the one used by Earnest charged with opening fire at a California synagogue last year. (John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, Pool,File)

Federal prosecutors said they will not seek the death penalty for a 22-year-old former nursing student charged in a deadly shooting at a Southern California Shul on the last day of Pesach.

The decision was disclosed Monday in a one-sentence court filing in federal court in San Diego. It comes less than two months after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland halted federal executions while the Justice Department conducts a review of its policies and procedures.

In July, John T. Earnest pleaded guilty to murder and other charges in state court. The San Diego County district attorney’s office said at the time that he agreed to serve the rest of his life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 30.

In the federal case, Earnest submitted a conditional plea agreement for consideration by federal prosecutors in June 4, the terms of which have not been disclosed. A hearing in that case is scheduled Sept. 8.

Earnest opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle during the last day of Pesach in April 2019 at Chabad of Poway. The attack killed 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye and wounded three others, including an 8-year-old girl and the rabbi, who lost a finger.

Earnest then called 911 to say he had shot up a synagogue because Jews were trying to “destroy all white people,” authorities said.


Source: The Yeshiva World

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