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Federal Trial Begins for 2018 Massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue

HeadlineMay 31, 2023

In Pittsburgh, the federal death penalty trial of the gunman accused of killing 11 Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018 is underway. On Tuesday, jurors listened to a 911 audio recording that contained the last words of 84-year-old Bernice Simon, one of the massacre’s victims. Simon told the dispatcher, “I’m scared to death,” over background audio of screams and gunshots.

Robert Bowers has pleaded not guilty to 63 charges, including hate crimes. Investigators say Bowers posted antisemitic comments and racist memes online in the months ahead of the shooting and called immigrants “invaders.” If convicted, he could face execution.

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