Robert Bowers was found guilty by a jury on all charges Friday after he went to a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and shot 11 people to death in 2018, according to ABC News.
Bowers tried to negotiate with prosecutors to take the death penalty off the table if he pleaded guilty but was denied, according to ABC News. The trial lasted for several weeks but it only took the jury less than a day to issue a guilty verdict on all 63 charges for killing 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
The synagogue issued a press release following the jury’s verdict, thanking the “Justice Department lawyers and the jurors” for their work to “uproot antisemitism.
“I am grateful to God for getting us to this day,” Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life Congregation, who survived the attack, said in the press release. “And I am thankful for the law enforcement who ran into danger to rescue me, and the U.S. Attorney who stood up in court to defend my right to pray. Today I’m focused on being with my congregation and praying, singing and clapping in praise of God as we do each Shabbat. In the face of the horror our community has experienced, I can think of no better response than practicing my Jewish faith and leading worship.”
Bowers entered the synagogue with a semi-automatic rifle on Oct. 27, 2018, and proceeded to shoot 11 attendees while they worshiped on the Sabbath, according to ABC News. After his arrest, Bowers told police that he had purposely targeted Jewish people.
The Department of Justice initially handed down 44 charges for Bower but increased the total to 63 several months later, including “eleven counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death,” according to the DOJ. The department also issued multiple other hate crime charges, several counts of obstruction and “twenty-five counts of discharge of a firearm during these crimes of violence.”
Bowers’ attorney, Judy Clarke, who is best known for her high-profile defense of the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, did not deny that her client had committed the shooting but warned the jurors to look harder into his “intent,” according to ABC News. Clarke’s defense did not appear to resonate with the jury, who will now weigh Bowers’ sentence next week.
Clarke did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org