Shooter found guilty of all charges

    The gunman who opened fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, killing 11, was found guilty on Friday of all 63 federal charges — some of which carry the death penalty — for his role in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

    The verdict in the Robert Bowers trial was announced after a jury deliberated for five hours over two days.

    Bowers had pleaded not guilty to 63 federal criminal counts, including hate crimes.

    He was found guilty of 11 counts of obstructing the exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death, a crime punishable by death. As a result, the trial will move into a penalty phase where the jury will decide whether to sentence him to death or life in prison.

    Image: Tree of Life
    A makeshift memorial stands outside the Tree of Life Synagogue in the aftermath of a deadly shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 29, 2018.Matt Rourke / AP file

    Bowers’ defense has 24 hours to pursue a mental health defense, with reports due in court by Sunday.

    The court will reconvene on June 26 for the next stage of the trial.

    Seven others were injured when Bowers stormed the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on October 27, 2018, armed with an assault rifle and three rifles.

    Lawyers for Bowers admitted responsibility for the deadly attack, but had tried to spare his life as federal prosecutors sought the death penalty. Prosecutors had rejected Bowers’ offer to plead guilty in exchange for the death penalty being taken off the table.

    The prosecution dropped its case Wednesday, and Bowers’ lawyers did not defend themselves.

    During the three-week trial, survivors, victims’ relatives and police officers sometimes gave emotional testimonies.

    During the course of the trial, prosecutors showed how Bowers expressed hostility toward Jewish people on social media.

    On the platform Gab, which is popular with the far right, his profile said that “Jews are the children of Satan.” He posted other offensive content and spoke approvingly of Hitler and the Nazi genocide of Jews.

    The dead in the massacre were: Joyce Fienberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Cecil Rosenthal, 59; David Rosenthal, 54; Bernice Simon, 84; Sylvan Simon, 86; Daniel Stein, 71; Irving Younger, 69; and Melvin Wax, 87.

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