California synagogue shooter pleads guilty to more than 100 federal hate crimes

The California man who opened fireplace on a Poway synagogue in a 2019 assault that killed one individual and wounded others pleaded responsible to greater than 100 federal hate crime prices Friday.

John T. Earnest, 22, earlier this yr pleaded responsible to state counts and agreed to a sentence of life in jail with out the potential of parole.

Federal prosecutors and Earnest will collectively advocate a life sentence plus 30 years, the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the Southern District of California mentioned. Earnest pleaded responsible to a 113-count indictment.

Earnest walked into the Chabad of Poway synagogue north of San Diego with a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle and opened fireplace, killing Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, and wounding the rabbi, an 8-year-old woman and her uncle.

He fled and referred to as 911, saying that he was the shooter and that the Jewish folks have been “destroying the white race,” officers have mentioned. He additionally wrote a hate-filled manifesto that was posted on-line earlier than the assault.

In a plea settlement, Earnest admitted to planning the April 27, 2019, assault for weeks, prosecutors mentioned. He wore what was described as a chest rig with 5 extra 10-round ammunition magazines.

Earnest fired the 10-round journal within the rifle till it was empty, and he tried to reload it however was unsuccessful as congregants rushed to confront him after which he fled, the FBI has mentioned.

He additionally admitted to setting fireplace to a mosque in Escondido, California, in March 2019. Nobody was harm.

Sentencing within the state case has been scheduled for Sept. 30. On-line courtroom data didn’t seem to point out when sentencing is scheduled within the federal case.

The state plea settlement averted the potential of the demise penalty. The agreed-upon sentence in that case is life in jail with out the potential of parole plus 121 years, the district legal professional has mentioned.

The federal crimes carried the potential of a demise sentence, however on Aug. 30, prosecutors filed a discover with the courtroom they’d not search it.

“This nation stands with Lori Gilbert Kaye’s household and the survivors of those unspeakable acts of terror,” mentioned Randy S. Grossman, performing U.S. legal professional for the southern district of California.

“We emphatically reject the defendant’s hate, racism and prejudice, and we hope the conclusion of this case brings some measure of consolation to all these affected by his heinous crimes,” he mentioned.

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