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US court sets April trial for gunman in 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue massacre

Driver's License photo of Pittsburgh synagogue massacre suspect Robert Bowers. (Pennsylvania DOT)
Driver's License photo of Pittsburgh synagogue massacre suspect Robert Bowers. (Pennsylvania DOT)

The long-delayed capital murder trial of Robert Bowers in the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue massacre will begin in April, a US federal judge has ruled.

Robert Bowers, a Baldwin resident who has pleaded not guilty, could be sentenced to death if convicted of the shootings. He faces more than 60 federal charges stemming from the October 27, 2018, attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 worshipers in the deadliest attack on Jews in US history.

US District Judge Robert Colville issues an order setting the trial date for April 24, when jury selection will begin.

Bowers, armed with a rifle and three handguns, is accused of shooting 18 people and trading gunfire with officers, getting shot three times before he was taken into police custody. His social media history included posts about a false conspiracy theory that the Holocaust was a hoax and expressed contempt for a nonprofit Jewish group that helps refugees.

Bowers’ lawyers have long sought a deal for him to plead guilty and get a life sentence if the government would take the death penalty off the table. They and prosecutors have been sparring over pretrial motions and discovery issues for years.

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