Suspect in US Synagogue shooting pleads not guilty, demands trial

A memorial for victims of the mass shooting that killed 11 people and wounded six at the Tree Of Life Synagogue

Wednesday's indictment, like the criminal complaint preceding it, charged Bowers with 11 counts of obstructing free exercise of religion, resulting in death, and 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder - one count for each worshipper killed.

Mr Bowers was injured during a shootout with police during the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighbourhood in what is believed to be the worst anti-Semitic attack in USA history.

Eleven worshipers were gunned down on Saturday morning by a man who stormed into the Tree of Life Synagogue and opened fire, yelling anti-Semitic statements including: "All Jews must die".

Mr Bowers, 46, has requested a jury trial, U.S. media reported on Thursday.

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Robert Bowers, 46, walked into court in wrist, waist and ankle restraints Thursday, with a large bandage on his upper left arm.

He was flanked by two USA marshals as he entered a federal courtroom Thursday wearing red prison scrubs, a bandage on his left arm and shackles on his hands and feet. He told a prosecutor he had read the indictment.

The grand jury voted to indict Bowers on 44 counts, according to a filing in federal court in Pittsburgh.

The indictment, which was expected, was announced on the second day of a weeklong series of funerals for congregants who perished in the mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue.

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The son of a couple killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue attack says his parents were a "beacon of light" whose example can help "eliminate the hate that led to their untimely deaths".

Sylvan Simon and his wife, Bernice Simon, were killed in the same synagogue where they married in December 1956, The Tribune-Review reported.

Family members recalled the Simons as warm and welcoming and dedicated to their faith and each other.

Funerals will be held for Sylvan Simon (86) his wife, Bernice (84) and for Richard Gottfried (65) who were killed on Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill district in the worst anti-Semitic attack in United States history.

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Tuesday's visit to the synagogue also included first lady Melania Trump, along with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president's daughter and son-in-law, both of whom are Jewish. As the Trumps placed their tributes outside the Tree of Life synagogue, protesters nearby shouted that the president was not welcome. Rabbis and other volunteers have been cleaning the temple to remove all bodily traces from the 11 victims, following Jewish law regarding death and burial.

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