Man accused of Pittsburgh shul massacre has plea bargain rejected
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Man accused of Pittsburgh shul massacre has plea bargain rejected

Robert Bowers, 47, offered to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence but prosecutors snubbed the offer as they seek the death penalty

Flowers surround Stars of David as part of a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life Synagogue to the 11 people killed during worship services Saturday Oct. 27, 2018 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Flowers surround Stars of David as part of a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life Synagogue to the 11 people killed during worship services Saturday Oct. 27, 2018 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Prosecutors have rejected an offer from a man accused of killing 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue who was willing to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

Robert Bowers, 47, is accused of using an AR-15 rifle and other weapons to target worshippers inside the Tree of Life synagogue last October.

His request was denied as prosecutors seek the death penalty for what was the deadliest attack on Jews in US history.

Lawyers for Bowers said the case would already be over if prosecutors accepted his deal.

“Against the hazards of a September-October 2020 trial, the government invokes the rights of crimes victims to be free from unreasonable delay,” Bowers’ lawyers said.

“The court’s view of this invocation of rights should be informed by the fact that this case would already be over – and interests in a speedy resolution vindicated – had the government accepted the defendant’s offer to plead guilty as charged and be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release.”

Police said Bowers expressed hatred of Jews during and after the rampage.

A spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh federal prosecutors declined to comment.

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