Judge waits to set trial date in Pittsburgh synagogue attack

Regional News

The sun shines over gardens surrounding the Tree of Life Synagogue Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Sunday, Oct. 27, marks the one-year anniversary of the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history. A virtual remembrance, an overseas concert and community service projects highlight the many plans for commemorating the loss. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A judge in Pittsburgh says she’s not ready to set a trial date for the man charged with killing 11 people inside a synagogue.

U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose on Thursday says she won’t schedule Robert Bowers’ trial until pretrial motions over the death penalty and other issues are resolved.

The judge is giving defense lawyers until mid-December to file motions challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty sought by prosecutors.

Federal prosecutors had asked for a fall 2020 trial to spare survivors and the families of those killed long delays.

But the defense is concerned the date would overlap with the Jewish holidays or a divisive presidential election.

The October 27, 2018, shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue is considered the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history.

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