A 19-year-old white gunman who killed 10 Black people and injured several others at a supermarket in Buffalo plans to plead guilty on Monday.
According to AP, Payton Gendron will plead guilty during his appearance in Erie County Court on Monday, which was postponed due to inclement weather.
Gendron’s attorneys have contacted the attorneys representing victims’ relatives and have informed them that Gendron will plead guilty to all counts in the state indictment. Gendron will also waive his right to appeal.
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“I am aware that Payton Gendron intends to plead guilty to the complete indictments, all 25 counts of guilty, and waive his right to appeal,” Buffalo attorney John Elmore, who represents the families of two victims, told NPR. “The judge will have no option but to sentence to life without parole.”
In the state case, Gendron faces charges of murder, murder as a hate crime, and domestic terrorism motivated by hate, which comes with an automatic life sentence if convicted.
He also faces far more hefty federal hate crime charges, which if convicted could result in a death sentence.
The Justice Department has not said whether they will pursue the death penalty for Payton Gendron, but Attorney General Merrick Garland said he is fully aware of the threat of white supremacists.
“We will continue to be relentless in our efforts to combat hate crimes, to support the communities terrorized by them, and to hold accountable those who perpetrate them,” said Garland in a press release.
On May 14, Payton Gendron drove hours from his hometown in upstate New York before using an assault rifle to kill 10 Black people and injuring several others at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo. Those killed ranged from 32 to 86 years old.
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After his arrest, investigators found a manifesto left by Gendron that espoused a racist conspiracy theory that’s become increasingly popular among those holding far-right, ultra-conservative, and mainstream Republican views. The so-called “White Replacement Theory” was referenced in the manifesto.
The manifesto also claimed he was most influenced by the racist terrorist who killed dozens of Muslims worshiping at a mosque in New Zealand in 2019, the New York Daily News reported. Other people Gendron named as his inspirations for his killing spree in Buffalo include Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine parishioners at a historically Black church in South Carolina in 2015.
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