The California synagogue shooter pleaded guilty to murder and other charges on Tuesday, following the tragic incident that occurred more than two years ago. The San Diego County District Attorney's Office confirmed that the sUSPECT, identified as John Earnest, now 22 years old, admitted to his crime that happened at the Chabad of Poway. 

According to the DA's office in San Diego, California, Earnest pleaded guilty to the "willful, deliberate, premeditated murder" of Lori Gilbert-Kaye and the attempted murder of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Noya D., and Almog Peretz. 

Forbes, citing a statement, reported that the shooter also pleaded guilty to arson of a mosque "for the purpose of terrorizing Muslim worshippers." 

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California Synagogue Shooter Agrees to Face Life Imprisonment

Originally, the district attorney's office considered asking for the death penalty. However, San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan noted that Earnest's potential plea in a federal case against him prevented a possible death sentence. The District Attorney's office also revealed that Earnest's conditional plea agreement was submitted on June 4 for consideration by the federal prosecutors. 

However, NBC News reported that the shooter agreed to a sentence for life imprisonment without parole. Apart from the life imprisonment, Earnest also agreed on the additional 121 years-to-life and 16 years in state prison. 

"While we reserved the option of trying this as a death penalty case, life in prison without the possibility of parole for the defendant is an appropriate resolution to this violent hate crime," San Diego DA's office emphasized in their statement. The DA's office also noted that the acceptance of the plea deal was made with the knowledge of a parallel prosecution from the U.S. attorney's office. 

Stephens echoed the San Diego DA's office, arguing that life imprisonment without parole for the shooter was an "appropriate" resolution.

"We hope it [life imprisonment] brings a measure of justice and closure to the victims, their families, friends, and the wider community," San Diego DA's office further noted. 

Earnest was scheduled to appear in federal court on September 8, and his state charges were set to be sentenced on September 30. 

California Synagogue Shooting 

Earnest's guilty plea and life imprisonment stemmed out when he opened fire in a synagogue in April 2019. The shooter was reported to walk in with a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 rifle, as he killed Lori Gilbert-Kaye and wounded the rabbi, an eight-year-old girl, and her uncle. 

It can also be remembered that the investigators also discovered an anti-semitic letter on a message board before going to the synagogue. Investigators also revealed that Earnest felt inspired by a 2018 attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed at least 11 people, and an attack on two mosques in New Zealand that killed at least 50.

On Tuesday, Earnest confirmed that his hatred and the fact that the victims were Jewish motivated him to commit the heinous crime. 

Apart from the California synagogue shooter, the victims and their families were allowed to sue Smith and Wesson, the manufacturer of the firearms Earnest used during the attack. 

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Written By: Joshua Summers