Pittsburgh shooter charged with additional hate crimes

Robert Bowers indicted on 19 additional counts that include allegations of hate crimes.

Elad Benari,

Scene of Pittsburgh shooting
Scene of Pittsburgh shooting
Alexi Rosenfeld

Robert Bowers, who is accused of opening fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October and killing 11 people, was indicted Tuesday on additional counts that include allegations of hate crimes, reports The Associated Press.

A federal grand jury added 19 charges to the 44 counts previously levied against Bowers, 46, of Baldwin, Pennsylvania.

13 of the new counts are hate crime violations and the others accuse him of obstructing religious beliefs and discharging a firearm during crimes of violence, according to AP.

Messages left for Bowers' lawyers were not immediately returned.

The indictment said Bowers posted criticism of a Jewish charity on a social media account and linked to a page that said Dor Hadash, one of the three congregations in the synagogue building, hosted refugee-related events.

"You like to bring in hostile invaders to dwell among us? We appreciate the list of friends you have provided," Bowers posted on October 10, the indictment said.

On the day of the attack, October 27, Bowers again posted that the immigrant aid society "likes to bring invaders that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going on," the indictment said.

Bowers' new charges include 11 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, two of hate crimes involving an attempt to kill, three congregant victims were added to counts for obstruction of religious beliefs, and three additional firearms charges for those three congregants, federal prosecutors said.

In November, Bowers pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in a federal courtroom. He faces a penalty of death or life without parole, followed by a consecutive prison sentence of 535 years.




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