The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that it will seek the death penalty for John Earnest, who is accused of opening fire inside a Poway synagogue last year, killing a woman and injuring three others, KUSI-TV reported.
Earnest is charged with murder, attempted murder, arson and hate crime allegations for the April 27, 2019, shooting at Chabad of Poway and the March 24, 2019, blaze at the Dar-ul-Arqam Mosque, also known as the Islamic Center of Escondido.
Earnest’s trial is currently set for June 2, though his attorney is expected to ask that it be delayed to prepare for a defense against capital punishment. His next court dates include a March 20 hearing in San Diego federal court, and an April 17 status conference in state court.
In addition to the state’s case, Earnest faces more than 100 hate crime-related counts filed by the US Attorney’s Office and could also face the death penalty in the federal case.
He has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder.
Earnest told a 911 operator in the moments after the attack that he did it to “save white people from Jews.”
It has been revealed that Earnest did not have a valid hunting license, which is the only way someone under 21 who isn't in the military or law enforcement can legally buy a weapon under California state law.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)