The accused gunman in the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue that left 11 dead and seven wounded in October pleaded not guilty to 19 additional criminal counts Monday morning, including federal hate crime charges.
A grand jury added the charges Jan. 29 to the 44 charges Robert Bowers, 46, faced after the shooting Oct. 27 during Saturday morning Sabbath services. The new charges include more hate crime violations, the obstruction of religious belief and the use of a firearm during crimes of violence.
Bowers, a former truck driver of Baldwin, Pennsylvania, appeared Monday with his new attorney, Judy Clarke. Clarke told the judge she does not want the case to go to trial, signaling that Bowers may be open to a plea deal from prosecutors.
Clarke represented Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and mass shooter Jared Loughner, who shot and injured Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Bowers allegedly entered the synagogue last year screaming anti-Semitic epithets, such as "All Jews must die." He posted on Gab, a social media site linked to white nationalism and the far-right, that "I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics. I'm going in."
Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh have yet to decide whether to pursue the death penalty against Bowers, according to The Associated Press. If convicted, Bowers could also face life in prison without parole.
After the arraignment, Bowers returned to jail at the Butler County Prison, approximately 35 miles north of the synagogue. He was mostly silent Monday, giving only yes or no answers to the judge.
Donna Coufal, a member of the Dor Hadish congregation that uses space at the Tree of Life Synagogue, attended the arraignment. She told The Associated Press she wanted "to bear witness. It's been a painful time, but we remain strong as a community."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Accused gunman in Pittsburgh shooting pleads not guilty to 19 new charges