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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A pre-trial meeting was held in the case against the man charged in the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
Today’s status conference was a scheduled meeting. It was held so the judge can keep things on track as the case progresses toward trial.
Robert Bowers was not in court today.
He has the right to be there if he wants, but it’s not required.
His attorneys and the government are in the process of discovery – or the sharing of information and evidence before trial.
They are also in the process of preparing and filing motions that the judge will decide before trial. Dec. 18 was the deadline for motions to be filed.
Today, defense counsel requested that date be extended.
The judge granted a 120-day extension, which now makes the motion deadline April 18, 2019.
Bowers is accused of 44 federal crimes stemming from the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27. Eleven people were killed and several others were injured, including four police officers.
The charges are as follows:
- Eleven counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death
- Eleven counts of use and discharge of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence
- Two counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving an attempt to kill and use of a dangerous weapon and resulting in bodily injury
- Eleven counts of use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence
- Eight counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving an attempt to kill and use of a dangerous weapon, and resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer
- One count of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving use of a dangerous weapon and resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer
Of the charges, 32 carry a maximum penalty of death.
U.S. Attorney Scott Brady has already begun the process of pursuing the death penalty in Bowers’ case.
The final approval must come from the U.S. attorney general.
Today, another attorney from the Department of Justice joined federal prosecutors as co-counsel.
Currently, there is no scheduled date for trial.
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