Poway synagogue shooter pleads guilty, receives life sentence with no chance of parole

Shooter who killed one and injured three during Passover in 2019 still faces federal charges, under which the death penalty may be sought.

Dan Verbin ,

Chabad of Poway
Chabad of Poway
Courtesy of chabadpoway.com

The 22-year old man responsible for a deadly shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California in 2019 has pleaded guilty to murder and other charges.

John T. Earnest agreed to a life sentence in state prison without the possibility of parole in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, reported the Associated Press.

In April 2019, on the last day of Passover, Earnest opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at the Chabad of Poway while services were taking place.

During the attack 60-year old Lori Gilbert-Kay was killed and three others were wounded. Those injured included an eight-year old girl, her uncle, and the synagogue’s rabbi who lost a finger.

Authorities stated that Earnest called 911 after he had committed the attack to tell them that he had carried out the shooting because Jews were attempting to “destroy the white race.”

Earnest was linked by investigators to an anti-Semitic online manifesto bearing his name that was also discovered on his computer.

Earnest was also charged federally. A decision has not yet been made in that case about whether to seek the death penalty, according to a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office in nearby San Diego, reported NBC News.

During his court appearance on Tuesday, he appeared emotionless as the allegations were read out, including that he was motivated by hatred and that he shot his victims for being Jewish.



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