Synagogue shooting suspect pleads not guilty

The 19-year-old suspect in a fatal shooting at a Southern California synagogue has pleaded not guilty to federal hate crimes.

John Earnest spoke only twice during a brief hearing in San Diego, once to acknowledge his name and once to say he agreed with his court-appointed attorney's request not to seek bond.

Prosecutor Peter Ko says the federal government hasn’t decided whether to seek the death penalty.

He reaffirmed plans to try the case separately but simultaneously with state charges of murder and attempted murder, which could also expose Earnest to the death penalty.

Earnest is accused of bursting into the Chabad of Poway synagogue on April 27 and opening fire with an assault rifle, killing one person and injuring three.

Dawn Kamber