Dec 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

California synagogue shooter gets second life sentence

A make-shift memorial across the street from the Chabad of Poway Synagogue on Sunday, April 28, 2019 in Poway, California.

Mourners and well-wishers leave flowers and signs at a makeshift memorial across the street from the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in April 2019 in Poway, Calif. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

A 22-year-old man was sentenced to life in federal prison Tuesday after receiving a state life sentence three months ago for committing a mass shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in 2019.

The big picture: John T. Earnest killed one worshipper and wounded three others with a semiautomatic rifle on the last day of Passover in 2019 and told a 911 dispatcher that he was "defending our nation against the Jewish people."

  • In September, Earnest avoided the death penalty through an agreement with prosecutors and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The latest: Earnest was sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal hate crimes in September, per a Justice Department statement.

  • U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia said on Tuesday the federal and state sentences would run one after another and denied the defense attorney's request for Earnest to stay in state prison, AP reports.
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