Grand jury brings new charges against alleged Pennsylvania synagogue shooter

Grand jury brings new charges against alleged Pennsylvania synagogue shooter
© Getty Images

A federal grand jury on Tuesday added federal hate crime and gun charges to the 44 criminal counts a Pennsylvania man already faced for allegedly killing 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last year.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Robert Bowers was originally charged with 44 counts that included obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death and the use and discharge of a firearm to commit murder.

ADVERTISEMENT

But it also noted a federal grand jury sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania returned a superseding indictment Tuesday with 13 additional violations

Police allege Bowers, who was armed with multiple firearms, entered the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018, and opened fire, killing members of the Tree of Life, Dor Hadash and New Light Jewish congregations that were gathered there.

DOJ said Bowers faces a maximum possible penalty of life without parole, followed by a consecutive sentence of 250 years in prison, but that 22 counts of the superseding indictment are capital-eligible offenses.