Synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers pleads not guilty

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Suspect Robert Bowers rolled into court on Monday in a wheelchair where he waved the reading of the charges - he is being charged with 29 criminal counts, including 11 federal hate-crime charges and 11 counts of using a firearm to kill, USA Today reported.

The suspect, identified as Robert Bowers, killed 11 congregants and injured four police officers, authorities said.

One of his federal public defenders, Michael Novara, said Bowers pleaded not guilty, "as is typical at this stage of the proceedings".

The man accused of massacring 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue entered a not guilty plea Thursday as three of his alleged victims were laid to rest.

The panel issued the indictment as funerals continued for the victims.

He faces a maximum possible penalty of death, or life without parole, followed by a consecutive sentence of 535 years of imprisonment. He had a history of posting conspiracy theories about Jews and threatening Jewish communities online.

Herring tweeted that prosecutors are still weighing whether to charge Bowers with domestic terrorism.

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In Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood where the mass shooting occurred, families and members of the Jewish community in the city and around the nation are rallying together to honor the victims of the massacre.

Pittsburgh police stand guard as the casket of Irving Younger, 69, is wheeled from Congregation Rodef Shalom after his funeral on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, in Pittsburgh.

Augie Siriano, a custodian at Tree of Life, said the couple often brought him chocolate chip cookies, and that Sylvan Simon liked to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers professional football team.

"My mom would be very angry that her funeral wasn't able to be at Tree of Life, and that her friends lost on Saturday couldn't be here", Howard Fienberg said. As the Trumps placed their tributes outside the Tree of Life synagogue, protesters nearby shouted that the president was not welcome.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump made a politically tricky visit to Pittsburgh, accompanied by his wife Melania, Orthodox Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka.

Bruce Carlton, who took the initial call from Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, said he wanted to keep Myers on the phone without revealing his position to the gunman.

Bowers espoused violent anti-Semitism and hate for immigrants online ahead of his rampage Saturday.

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