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California synagogue shooting suspect pleads guilty

California Synagogue Shooter
Posted at 6:30 PM, Jul 20, 2021

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A 22-year-old man has pleaded guilty to murder and other charges in connection with a deadly shooting at a Southern California synagogue on the last day of Passover.

John T. Earnest avoided the death penalty with his plea in San Diego Superior Court on Tuesday.

The San Diego County district attorney's office says he agreed to serve the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 30.

Earnest opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle during the last day of Passover services in April 2019.

The attack killed 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye and wounded three others.

According to the Associated Press, those wounded included an 8-year-old girl and a rabbi who lost a finger.

U.S. prosecutors have until Aug. 30 to decide if they want to pursue the death penalty on similar charges in federal court.

A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8 on the federal case.