SAN DIEGO (AP) — 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.
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.
“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 and we hope it brings a measure of justice and closure to the victims, their families, friends and the wider community,” the office said. “This plea ensures the defendant is held accountable for his crimes under California state law.”