The teenager who targeted Black people in a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket said Thursday in federal court that he has $16 and two shares of Disney stock to his name.
Payton Gendron, 18, was appointed a federal public defender after showing he could not afford an attorney.
Gendron could face the death penalty on federal hate crime charges. He was hit with 26 federal counts Wednesday and made his first federal court appearance Thursday.
Attorney General Merrick Garland will have final say on whether Gendron’s federal trial becomes a capital punishment case. Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder asked the feds to make a death penalty decision within 30 days.
Gendron lived with his parents in Conklin, N.Y., before he drove about three hours to Buffalo and unleashed horror at the Tops market in the majority-Black neighborhood, killing 10 Black people and wounding three more.
At Thursday’s hearing, Gendron said he hadn’t been employed for a year. The judge did not ask him to explain how he was able to purchase a semi-automatic rifle and body armor in that time period.
Gendron was charged with hate crimes because he posted a white nationalist manifesto online in which he chillingly laid out the “replacement theory” that non-white people are taking over the United States.
“Gendron’s motive for the mass shooting was to prevent Black people from replacing white people and eliminating the white race, and to inspire others to commit similar attacks,” federal investigators wrote in a criminal complaint.
In New York, Gendron is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder, domestic terrorism and several other crimes. He has been held without bail since he surrendered to police outside the supermarket. Gendron faces life without parole if he’s convicted in New York. He has pleaded not guilty.
The death penalty is outlawed in New York, and the state hasn’t executed anyone since 1963. Last year, Garland put a halt to federal executions that had resumed under Donald Trump’s administration.
With News Wire Services