Crime & Justice

No bail for suspect in New York metro mass shooting

New York, Apr 14 (EFE).- A federal judge on Thursday ordered the man accused of carrying out a mass shooting earlier in the week on a New York metro train to remain jailed without bond, the ruling coming during a brief audience at which the suspect made no admission of guilt.

The public defender assigned to Frank James by the court, Mia Eisner-Grynberg, acceded to the ruling that her client remain in federal custody, although later she could request that bail be set for him, according to local media.

She also requested that James, who was wearing a federal prison jumpsuit provided for him at the Brooklyn jail where he is being held, be subjected to a psychiatric evaluation, given his behavioral history.

The prosecution assured the court during the hearing in the Brooklyn borough court that the shooting “was premeditated,” that the suspect used a construction helmet and worker’s jacket as a disguise and that he later discarded them to avoid being recognized as the shooter.

“The defendant’s attack was premeditated, it was carefully planned and it caused terror among the victims and our entire city,” said prosecuting attorney Sara Winik about the incident at 8:30 am last Tuesday.

The attacker first set off two smoke bombs within the Line N metro car in Brooklyn inside which he and dozens of other people were riding and then began firing his pistol indiscriminately at the other occupants, wounding 10 people with the gunfire although 13 more passengers had to be given first aid due to other injuries, including smoke inhalation, during the incident.

“The defendant’s mere presence outside federal custody presents a serious risk of danger to the community and he should be detained pending trial. The defendant, terrifyingly, opened fire on passengers on a crowded subway train, interrupting their morning commute in a way this city hasn’t seen in more than 20 years,” Winik said.

James was arrested 30 hours after the shooting after he himself alerted authorities as to his whereabouts, near a McDonald’s restaurant in southern Manhattan.

Prosecutors also argued that the accused possessed the wherewithal to carry out more attacks, including ammunition and other weapons accessories, which he was storing in a Philadelphia warehouse.

In addition, James rented a U-Haul truck in Philadelphia, drove it across the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge into Brooklyn early on the morning of April 12, before carrying out the attack shortly thereafter.

“The defendant came to Brooklyn prepared with all of the weapons and tools he needed to carry out the mass attack: A Glock 17 pistol … a container containing gasoline, a torch and fireworks with explosive power,” Winik wrote in a detention memo that the prosecution filed before the hearing.

The 62-year-old suspect, who did not resist the police during his arrest, is facing life in prison for conducting a terrorist attack on public transport, according to US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace.

EFE rh/fjo/dmt/bp

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