SAN DIEGO: A 22-year-old former nursing student pleaded guilty Tuesday to murder and other charges in connection with a deadly shooting at a Southern California synagogue on the last day of Passover.
John T. Earnest avoided the death penalty with his plea in San Diego Superior Court. The San Diego County district attorney’s office said he agreed to serve the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole in state prison. Sentencing is scheduled Sept. 30.
Earnest opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle during the last day of Passover services in April 2019 at Chabad of Poway. The attack killed 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye and wounded three others, including an 8-year-old girl and the rabbi, who lost a finger.
Earnest then called 911 to say he had shot up a synagogue because Jews were trying to “destroy all white people,” authorities said.