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Federal Judge Denies Request From Robert Bowers' Lawyers To Suppress Statements Made After Tree Of Life Shooting

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - A federal judge has ruled that statements allegedly made by accused Tree Of Life Synagogue shooter Robert Bowers during and after the shooting can be used at trial.

Bowers' defense lawyers argued that the statements should be suppressed because he was improperly interrogated.

Judge Donetta Ambrose said that the comments, made spontaneously or in response to police questioning, pertained to public safety.

"The government has filed a Response in opposition, urging that the statements are properly admissible at trial as either an exception to the rule announced in Miranda, that the statements were made prior to being 'in custody,' and thus are outside the purview of Miranda, or because the statements were volunteered and therefore not barred by the Fifth Amendment," Ambrose wrote in her opinion. "For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied."

She added that questions asked by officers at the hospital served a similar purpose.

Bowers' defense team, headed by attorney Judy Clarke, wanted to keep a jury from hearing the 911 transmissions from October 27, 2018.

"Suspect keeps talking about all these Jews need to die. We're still communicating with him," a 911 tape says.

Pittsburgh SWAT officers testified that Bowers made unprovoked anti-Semitic statements to them such as, "the Jews are killing our people and our children. I had to do this."

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