BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The federal case against the Tops mass shooter returned to court on Wednesday.
Payton Gendron, 19, was previously indicted on 27 federal charges for killing 10 people and injuring three others in a racially motivated mass shooting at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue. All of those killed were Black.
He received 11 life sentences in February 2023 after pleading guilty to multiple state charges in November 2022.
While New York State does not have the death penalty, federal law does. The prosecution, the defense, and the Department of Justice are scheduled to meet on Sept. 18 to discuss the death penalty. According to Gendron’s legal team, a decision on the death penalty will likely be decided shortly after the meeting.
At the meeting, Gendron’s attorneys are expected to provide evidence arguing against the death penalty. They say if the death penalty is taken off the table, Gendron will plead guilty to the federal charges against him.
Until a decision on the death penalty is made, the defense is asking for pre-trail motion deadlines be held off.
The next return to court date for the federal case is scheduled for Oct. 20.