Pittsburgh synagogue suspect due in federal court Thursday
By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre is expected to make a brief appearance in court Thursday to be arraigned on an indictment that charges him with murder, hate crimes, obstructing in the practice of religion, and other crimes.
Robert Bowers had been set for a preliminary hearing on the evidence Thursday, but federal prosecutors instead took the case to a grand jury. The panel issued the 44-count indictment Wednesday as funerals continued for the 11 people gunned down Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
Jared Younger of Los Angeles told mourners that he waited for hours Saturday for his father to pick up his phone or let them know he was alright. The dread built all day until his sister learned their father, Irving Younger, had indeed been shot and killed.
“That waiting stage was just unbearable,” Jared Younger said at his father’s funeral Wednesday. “Saturday was the most lonely day of my life.”
Funerals were planned Thursday for Bernice and Sylvan Simon, husband and wife, and Dr. Richard Gottfried, a dentist who worked part-time at a clinic treating refugees and immigrants. The oldest victim, 97-year-old Rose Mallinger, will be honored at a service Friday. Her daughter was injured in the attack.
Friends recalled Irving Younger, 69, as a “kibbitzing, people-loving” man. He was one of the first people Rabbi Jeffrey Myers met when he came to town last year from New Jersey to lead Tree of Life.
Myers, who survived the massacre, is presiding over five funerals for seven congregants this week. He ran a few minutes late to Younger’s service because he was still at the burial for another victim, Joyce Fienberg.
“I can’t imagine the stress he’s under,” said his predecessor, Rabbi Charles “Chuck” Diamond.
As Younger’s service was wrapping up, Myers momentarily forgot to read a letter to the family that another rabbi had sent.
“After preparing for five funerals, you get a little verklempt,” Myers said.
Bowers, a 46-year-old truck driver who authorities say raged against Jews in the attack, remained jailed without bail.