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Poway gunman pleads guilty to murder, other charges in synagogue shooting

Poway Chabad synagogue shooting Defendant John Earnest listens during testimony during his preliminary hearing in Superior Court in San Diego, on September 19, 2019. (John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, Pool)
Poway Chabad synagogue shooting Defendant John Earnest listens during testimony during his preliminary hearing in Superior Court in San Diego, on September 19, 2019. (John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, Pool)

A 22-year-old former nursing student pleads guilty on Tuesday to murder and other charges, in connection with a deadly shooting at a Southern California synagogue on the last day of Passover.

John T. Earnest avoids the death penalty with his plea in San Diego Superior Court. The San Diego County district attorney’s office says he agreed to serve the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is scheduled September 30.

Earnest opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle during the last day of Passover services in April 2019. 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.

Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was killed in a shooting at a San Diego County synagogue on April 27, 2019 (Facebook)

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

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