Federal officials in the U.S. have announced 109 hate crime charges against the 19-year-old man accused of opening fire on a Southern California synagogue during Passover service.
Federal and local law enforcement officials announced the news at a press conference in San Diego Thursday.
Prosecutors allege John T. Earnest killed a woman and wounded an 8-year-old girl, her uncle and Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was leading the service at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., north of San Diego. The shooting took place on April 27, the last day of Passover, a Jewish high holiday.
In a court appearance last month, Earnest pleaded not guilty to state charges of murder and attempted murder. In a separate case, he has pleaded not guilty to burning a mosque in Escondido, about 20 kilometres north of Poway.
Authorities say he fired at least eight shots in the synagogue before fleeing.