JOHN T. EARNEST
California man gets life sentence for fatal synagogue attack
A 22-year-old white supremacist has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for bursting into a Southern California synagogue with a semiautomatic rifle on the last day of Passover in 2019, killing one worshipper and wounding three others.
California Man Pleads Guilty to 113-Count Federal Hate Crime Indictment for 2019 Poway Synagogue Shooting and Mosque Arson
John T. Earnest, 22, pleaded guilty in federal court to a 113-count indictment for the religiously- and racially-motivated murder of one person and the attempted murders of 53 other persons. Earnest entered the building armed with a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 assault rifle that was fully loaded with a 10-round magazine. Earnest opened fire, killing one person and injuring three other members of the congregation, including a then eight-year-old child. Earnest fled in his car and, shortly after, called 911 and confessed that he had “just shot up a synagogue.” Earnest was apprehended by local law enforcement who found the rifle and additional ammunition in his car. The FBI, ATF and San Diego Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.justice.gov
Calif. synagogue congregants attend trial
(CNN) - A judge determined Friday there is enough evidence for the suspected shooter in the April shooting at a Southern California synagogue to stand trial. Earnest's attorney, public defender John O'Connell, argued that prosecutors did not show enough evidence on five charges for the case to go to trial. Superior Court Judge Peter C. Deddeh disagreed with the defense and ruled that Earnest will have to stand trial. The video begins with the gunman pulling up across the street from the synagogue. The gunman begins shooting even before entering the synagogue.
Warrants say New Zealand attack inspired synagogue shooting
The details in search warrants released Wednesday give the clearest indication yet that Earnest was inspired by shooter Brenton Tarrant and acted on that hatred within days of the New Zealand killings. Federal authorities had previously released excerpts of Earnest's online writings demonstrating his affection for Tarrant, but the search warrants give a detailed timeline showing how quickly the New Zealand attack turned his violent thoughts into action. On March 20, investigators in the search documents said he sent another text about the writings saying, "I think it's important that everyone should read it." According to the search warrants, authorities seized a hunting certificate from his family's home, indicating Earnest may have obtained a hunting license to buy the weapon. Shortly after the attack, Earnest called 911 and said he had shot up the synagogue and was willing to surrender, according to court documents.chicagotribune.com