Accused supermarket shooter pleads not guilty to federal hate crime charges

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Wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackled at his hands and feet, Payton Gendron was flanked by his lawyers. If convicted, Gendron could face the death penalty. Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to make that decision at a later date.

Zeneta Everhart, whose son, Zaire Goodman, 21, was injured in the shooting, attended the hearing and said, for her, justice would mean Gendron spends his life in prison.

“My son is still recovering from a gunshot wound,” she said. “It’s hard to sit in the courtroom. He’s a terrorist.”

Gendron, who was remanded back into custody following Monday’s hearing, was indicted Thursday on 27 counts, including 14 hate crimes charges and 13 firearms charges, the Justice Department said in a news release.

Judge Kenneth Schroeder set a September 2 deadline for prosecutors to deliver defense attorneys their evidence. A status conference was set for the morning of December 9 to determine if defense attorneys will need more time to review the evidence, which is expected to consume a few thousand gigabytes, Zongin said.

Gendron is accused of shooting people inside and around Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo on May 14, killing 10 Black people. Prosecutors allege he traveled from hours away and targeted victims because of their race.

“The Justice Department fully recognizes the threat that white supremacist violence poses to the safety of the American people and American democracy,” Garland said in a statement. “We will continue to be relentless in our efforts to combat hate crimes, to support the communities terrorized by them, and to hold accountable those who perpetrate them.”

Gendron also faces state criminal charges and is currently in state custody.

A New York grand jury returned a 25-count indictment against the alleged shooter last month, including murder and hate crime charges, according to court documents.

Gendron has pleaded not guilty to those counts as well.

The Tops Friendly Markets store reopened “quietly and respectfully” last week after a full renovation, company officials said.

July 19, 2022 at 11:06AM

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