Lawyers for Robert Bowers, who is facing trial for a shooting massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, argued in a public court filing this week that Bowers has schizophrenia and structural and functional brain impairments, The Associated Press reported.
The lawyers told a federal judge they were concerned a prosecution proposal to have their own psychiatric experts examine or evaluate him would be a “broad-ranging, invasive, and constitutionally problematic investigation” into his “life, mind, and body.”
The defense said prosecutors should be limited to looking for evidence that would dispute defense assertions and argued they should not be allowed to investigate every possible aspect of his mental health.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin next month in Bowers’ trial for shooting to death 11 people and wounding seven others in the 2018 attack at the Tree of Life synagogue.
The shooter was armed with an AR-15 and three handguns and allegedly yelled “I want to kill all Jews” during the attack.
He was initially indicted on 44 counts. In January of 2019, a federal grand jury added 19 charges to the 44 counts previously levied against Bowers. He has pleaded not guilty to all 63 federal counts.
Bowers has offered to plead guilty in return for a life sentence, but prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.