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CrimeLawyers for synagogue massacre suspect allege FBI meddling

22:05  30 may  2019
22:05  30 may  2019 Source:   wtae.com

California synagogue shooting suspect indicted on 113 counts

California synagogue shooting suspect indicted on 113 counts A federal grand jury indicted the suspect in the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting Tuesday on 113 counts, which carry a maximum penalty of death. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); John Earnest, 19, was indicted Tuesday in the Southern District of California for the April 27 shooting, which killed one person and injured three others. The indictment includes murder and the attempted murder of 53 people. Earnest was also indicted on federal hate crime charges.

PITTSBURGH -- Lawyers for the man accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue say the FBI has been discouraging witnesses from talking to the defense, undermining the suspect 's right to a fair trial. Robert Bowers' lawyers said in court documents that at least one witness got in touch with

Lawyers for the man accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue say the FBI has been discouraging witnesses from talking to the defense, undermining the A lawyer for Bowers, charged in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre , says he still wants to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

Lawyers for synagogue massacre suspect allege FBI meddling© Provided by Hearst Television, Inc. Robert Bowers

Lawyers for the man accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue say the FBI has been discouraging witnesses from talking to the defense, undermining the suspect's right to a fair trial.

Robert Bowers' lawyers said in court documents that at least one witness got in touch with the defense -- exchanging multiple emails over several weeks -- but abruptly canceled a planned meeting after the FBI frowned on it.

Lawyers for accused Tree of Life shooter seek plea deal

Lawyers for accused Tree of Life shooter seek plea deal Lawyers for accused synagogue shooter Robert Bowers said Thursday they are seeking a plea deal that will spare their client the death penalty. Judy Clarke, one of the lawyers, told U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose at a routine conference that the defense team is seeking a plea. The move is not unexpected. Prosecutors said that the Justice Department is still reviewing the case for death penalty approval. Mr. Bowers is accused of gunning down 11 parishioners at Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 27. About a third of the 63 federal crimes of which he is charged carry the death penalty. Mr. Bowers didn't appear at the meeting.

Lawyers for the man accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue say the FBI has been discouraging witnesses from talking to the defense. A lawyer for Bowers, charged in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre , says he still wants to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

Driver’s License photo of Pittsburgh synagogue massacre suspect Robert Bowers. (Pennsylvania DOT). Bowers opened fire with an AR-15 rifle The defense filing did not name the witnesses whom the FBI allegedly instructed not to speak with Bowers’ lawyers . The defense plans to file a separate

The defense said the FBI delivered the same message to other witnesses.

"The FBI may have included some ... acknowledgment of the witnesses' right to talk to the defense, while at the same time ensuring that no witness would actually exercise that right by conveying the misleading message that doing so could compromise the government's case," Bowers' lawyers wrote.

More: Read the defense's motion for corrective action (PDF)

The defense asked a judge to tell the FBI to stop its "improper interference" in the case. Defense lawyers are also demanding that the government turn over any documents that concern witnesses' potential communication with the defense, and a list of witnesses with whom the FBI has spoken about talking to Bowers' lawyers.

Suspected synagogue shooter pleads not guilty to 113 charges in federal indictment

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Lawyers for the man accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue say the FBI has been discouraging witnesses from talking to the defense. Robert Bowers’ lawyers say in court documents that at least one witness contacted the defense, but abruptly canceled a meeting after the FBI

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal authorities misrepresented a social media connection between the suspect in last month's Pittsburgh synagogue massacre and a man whose relatives reported concerns about his behavior after the shooting to the FBI , a defense attorney said Friday.

"It is well-established that witnesses belong neither to the defense nor to the prosecution and that both parties must have equal access to witnesses before trial," defense lawyers wrote.

U.S. Senior District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose on Thursday ordered federal prosecutors to respond to the defense allegation by next week. The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment.

Bowers opened fire with an AR-15 rifle and other weapons during worship services inside Tree of Life synagogue, killing eight men and three women before a tactical police team tracked him down and shot him, according to state and federal affidavits.

He expressed hatred of Jews during the Oct. 27 rampage and later told police that "all these Jews need to die," authorities said. It was the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history.

Bowers, who faces a 63-count indictment that charges him with hate crimes, obstructing religious belief and using a firearm during crimes of violence, has pleaded not guilty.

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A lawyer for the man charged in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre says he still wants to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. FILE - This undated Pennsylvania Department of Transportation photo shows Robert Bowers. A lawyer for Bowers, charged in the Pittsburgh

The FBI agents said they approached Feldheim outside the house, identified themselves and asked him to stay at a safe distance. Feldheim coughed in their direction, without covering his mouth, they said, and told them he had been diagnosed with Covid-19.

The defense filing did not name the witnesses whom the FBI allegedly instructed not to speak with Bowers' lawyers. The defense plans to file a separate document under seal that will provide more specifics about the allegation.

Bowers' lawyers identified "potential victim impact witnesses" as being among the witnesses whom the FBI might have discouraged from talking to the defense. They noted that Department of Justice protocol is to seek the views of the victims' family on a potential death penalty prosecution. Prosecutors have not made a final decision on whether to seek capital punishment.

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