Buffalo shooting suspect pleads guilty to murder charges: NPR

Payton Gendron is led out of the courtroom after a hearing in Buffalo, NY on May 19. Gendron faces charges in the fatal May 14 supermarket shooting.

Matt Rourke/AP


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Matt Rourke/AP


Payton Gendron is led out of the courtroom after a hearing in Buffalo, NY on May 19. Gendron faces charges in the fatal May 14 supermarket shooting.

Matt Rourke/AP

The 19-year-old white shooter charged with targeting and killing 10 black people and injuring three others at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY last May pleaded guilty on Monday to state the charges against him.

Payton Gendron has been charged statewide with one count of first-degree domestic terrorism, 10 counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime, three counts of attempted second degree murder as hate. felony and one count of second degree criminal possession of a weapon.

He pleaded guilty to 15 counts, including the 10 counts of first-degree murder, which automatically dismissed the remaining 10 second-degree counts.

“The evidence of the defendant’s guilt is overwhelming,” Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said at a press conference after the hearing. “This case is a poster for speedy justice.”

A sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 15, but Flynn said the judge will have to sentence Gendron to life without parole for pleading guilty to the first-degree domestic terrorism charge.

Flynn also said Gendron was the first person in New York State history to be convicted of the charge.

At the federal level, Gendron is incur additional chargesincluding 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in death and three counts of hate crimes involving attempted murder, as well as 13 counts of using, carrying or discharging a firearm.

If convicted on all 27 federal charges, Gendron could face the death penalty or a second life sentence without parole. The attorney general will later decide whether to seek the death penalty, according to the Justice Department.

A memorial for the victims of the supermarket shooting outside Tops Friendly Market in July.

Joshua Bessex/AP


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Joshua Bessex/AP


A memorial for the victims of the supermarket shooting outside Tops Friendly Market in July.

Joshua Bessex/AP

“The Department of Justice fully recognizes the threat that white supremacist violence poses to the security of the American people and to American democracy,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. July press release.

“We will continue to be relentless in our efforts to fight hate crimes, to support communities terrorized by them, and to hold accountable those who commit them,” he added.

News of the shooter’s guilty plea comes after he chose not to pursue a psychiatric defense last month in his status case.

Gendron was scheduled to appear in court last month, but according to The Buffalo Newsthe Erie County prosecutor’s office announced that his case had been adjourned until January 12, 2023 – citing a defense request to “review discovery material”.

According to a report by The Buffalo News.

In a statement emailed to NPR, a spokesperson for the New York State Unified Court System said the defense “did not file a notice or request an extension to do so.”

The spokesperson, however, did not say whether the defense team would seek the reopening of a psychiatric defense.

In July, Gendron was indicted by a federal grand jury on hate crimes and firearms charges, according to the Justice Department. He has been held without bail since his arrest following the May 14 shooting.

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