Accused Tree of Life Gunman Robert Bowers Pleads Not Guilty to New Charges

Robert Bowers, the Pennsylvania man accused of murdering 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue in October, pleaded not guilty Monday to a litany of new criminal charges, according to a tweet from local CBS reporter Meghan Schiller. Bowers also reportedly requested a trial by jury—although his defense attorney, Judy Clarke, told the judge that she does not want the case to go to trial. Bowers faces a total of 63 criminal counts for the Oct. 27 shooting, including 11 murder charges and 11 charges of hate crimes resulting in death. He pleaded not guilty to some of the charges late last year; this plea addressed hate-crime charges brought against him in late January. He reportedly posted a series of anti-Semitic comments on the extremist-friendly platform Gab—like calling Jewish people “the children of Satan”—shortly before the murders. If convicted, Bowers faces the death penalty.