Payton Gendron: Teen Buffalo store killer could still face death, despite pleading guilty to killing 10
Payton Gendron also faces separate federal hate crime charges that could carry the death penalty
BUFFALO, NEW YORK: White supremacist Payton Gendron who shot and killed 10 people in a racist mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket will reportedly plead guilty to state charges. Court documents state that Gendron is scheduled to appear in Erie County Court on Monday, November 21 for the plea.
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported that Gendron, 19, is anticipated to confess to shooting 10 patrons at a Tops Friendly Market on May 14 as part of a demented scheme to kill as many Black people as he could. Gendron, who voiced White supremacist ideas in secret online forums prior to the murder, is facing a life sentence without the possibility of parole on state charges. However, he has also been charged on federal counts that, if found to be true, may lead to his execution.
Terrence M Connors, the legal representative for seven of the victims' relatives, asserted that Gendron's attorneys had told him of the plan. "We had known for some time that it is likely that on Monday, he will enter a plea of guilty to each and every count in the 25-count indictment, and that when sentencing comes, he will receive a sentence of life in prison without parole," he said.
Connors, who is participating in the lawsuit with civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, said all parties agreed not to make the plan public until the hearing was scheduled by the court, which transpired on Thursday, November 17. Connors stated, "This is but one chapter of accountability for this horrible tragedy. And there are more chapters to come. The families right now are focused on doing what they can to bring something positive to East Buffalo out of this horrible tragedy."
At a press conference, Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Byron Brown were questioned about the alleged plea and they both stated that the families demand justice. "It is going to be difficult for the families, it will open up that wound again, but I think it's good that this individual is pleading guilty," Brown stated.
"It's gonna be hard for the families as the court proceedings continue and they have to relive the horror they went through because of the loss of their loved one. But the system needs to work and those families deserve justice," Hochul stated.