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Attorneys for Tree of Life shooting suspect say they won’t be ready for trial until at least 2023

PITTSBURGH — Robert Bowers’ attorneys told the newly assigned judge in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting case that they don’t see themselves being ready for a trial before late 2023.

According to our partners at Trib Live, federal prosecutors said Bowers should go on trial this fall.

The Trib reports that U.S. District Judge Robert Colville held a video conference and asked both parties to make an effort to have a realistic timeline for resolving the case.

Bowers is accused to killing 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill on Oct. 27, 2018. He’s currently up for the death penalty and his 63 counts against him. The Trib says the case has more than 700 entries on the court docket.

The Trib reports that Assistant U.S. Attorney Soo Song said the jury selection could begin on Sept. 12 with the trial itself starting on Oct. 19.

“We believe the remaining work to get this case to trial can be accomplished in the next six months,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy Rivetti said.

The Trib said Supervising Federal Public Defender Elisa Long said the COVID-19 pandemic put the defense behind in their field work.

“The defense has to reach back years, if not generations. Our field work often involves conversations with reluctant witnesses. We will not be even nearly completed in our mitigation investigation at that point,” Long said.