Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

(CN) — The man accused of killing 11 people and wounding six others during a weekend siege at a Pittsburgh synagogue pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges that could result in his being put to death.

Robert Bowers, 46, made a brief appearance at the federal courthouse in Pittsburgh Thursday morning, his second since last the  massacre at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood Saturday morning.

On Wednesday a grand jury handed down a 44-count indictment that charges Bowers with murder, hate crimes, obstructing the practice of religion and other crimes.

Investigators said Bowers raged against Jews during and after the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history. He reportedly decided to  target the synagogue after it hosted an event supporting refugees two weeks ago.

Bowers, who was shot and wounded during a gun battle that injured four police officers, had been set for a preliminary hearing on the evidence, but federal prosecutors instead took the case to a grand jury.

Bowers will remain jailed without bail.

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