BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In a private meeting Monday, the attorneys for Tops mass shooter Payton Gendron made their case to the Department of Justice in an attempt to dissuade U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland from pursuing the death penalty.

Gendron was not in court as it was a private conference.

Gendron was already handed a life sentence on several state charges for the racist attack that killed ten people at a Tops Friendly Markets location on Buffalo’s East Side on May 14, 2022. He’s facing more than two dozen federal charges tied to the massacre.

Gendron’s case will go to trial if Garland and the DOJ decide to pursue the death penalty.

Gendron is expected to enter a plea in his federal case if the death penalty isn’t pursued, which would bypass a trial and hand down another life sentence.

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Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.