Robert Bowers pleads not guilty in Tree of Life synagogue rampage

November 24, 2018

Robert Bowers, the alleged gunman in Saturday’s synagogue shooting that left 11 people dead, pleaded not guilty to all charges against him in federal court Thursday.

Bowers, 46, walked into the courtroom wearing a red jail jumpsuit and a large bandage on his upper left arm. He’d been brought to court in a wheelchair Monday.

His legs were shackled, and his hands were shackled to his waist. U.S. Marshals freed Bowers’s right hand for the duration of the court proceedings so he could sign paperwork.

He appeared more animated than his last court appearance, speaking quietly with his attorneys, Michal Novara and Elisa Long, as well as answering “yes” confidently to several questions posed by the judge and prosecutors Troy Rivetti and Soo C. Song.

Facing a 44-count indictment that includes nearly two dozen charges that are punishable by death, Bowers pleaded “not guilty” and requested a jury trial.

A grand jury alleged in its indictment that Bowers, of Baldwin, went to the Tree of Life in Squirrel Hill during Saturday morning services for three congregations and opened fire with an AR-15 and three handguns.

Eleven people were killed and six were injured. Four of the injured were police officers who exchanged fire with Bowers during multiple gun battles. Bowers was shot and injured. He was released from Allegheny General Hospital on Monday morning.

He remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals, and he is being held in the Butler County Prison without bail.

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