The anti-Semitic truck driver accused of gunning down 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue pleaded not guilty on Thursday to federal charges that could put him on death row.
Robert Bowers, 46, was arraigned one day after a grand jury issued a 44-count indictment that charges him with murder, hate crimes, obstructing the practice of religion and other crimes. It was his second brief appearance in a federal courtroom since the weekend
Funerals were planned Thursday for Bernice and Sylvan Simon, husband and wife, and Dr. Richard Gottfried, a dentist who worked part-time at a clinic treating refugees and immigrants. The oldest victim, 97-year-old Rose Mallinger, will be honored at a service Friday. Her daughter was injured in the attack.
Friends recalled Irving Younger, 69, as a “kibbitzing, people-loving” man. He was one of the first people Rabbi Jeffrey Myers met when he came to town last year from New Jersey to lead Tree of Life.
Myers, who survived the massacre, is presiding over five funerals for seven congregants this week. He ran a few minutes late to Younger’s service because he was still at the burial for another victim, Joyce Fienberg.
“I can’t imagine the stress he’s under,” said his predecessor, Rabbi Charles “Chuck” Diamond.
As Younger’s service was wrapping up, Myers momentarily forgot to read a letter to the family that another rabbi had sent.
“After preparing for five funerals, you get a little verklempt,” Myers said.
Bowers remained jailed without bail. (AP)