Poway synagogue shooting suspect pleads not guilty, is denied bail

Accused Synagogue Shooter John Earnest Arraigned In San Diego County Court
John T. Earnest pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday in San Diego County Superior Court to charges related to the shooting at Chabad of Poway synagogue that left one person dead and three wounded.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda / Pool)

The 19-year-old man suspected of opening fire in a Poway synagogue Saturday entered a plea of not guilty to murder and other charges in his first court appearance Tuesday.

John T. Earnest is charged with one count of murder, three counts of attempted murder and one count of arson.

The judge denied bail, calling Earnest an extreme threat to public safety.

Prosecutors said Earnest fired eight to 10 rounds before his rifle jammed at Chabad of Poway synagogue.


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A woman was killed and three people were injured, including the rabbi.

Earnest was arrested with a tactical vest, helmet and 50 unfired bullets, prosecutors said.

Earnest did not show any emotion at the hearing. He wore glasses and stood behind a glass panel, appearing to glance at public defender John O’Connell for guidance.


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