Frank James pleaded guilty to federal terrorism charges after opening fire in a New York City subway train in April 2022 (Pictures: AP)
A gunman who opened fire in a Brooklyn subway train and wounded 10 passengers has pleaded guilty to federal terrorism charges.
Frank James, 63, admitted in court on Tuesday that he shot at commuters in the Manhattan-bound train on April 12. The charges could land him a life sentence in prison.
Wearing a beige jail jumpsuit, James read from a prepared statement in a federal court in Brooklyn.
In this courtroom sketch, Frank James reads a statement of guilt in Brooklyn federal court (Credits: AP)
‘My intention was to cause serious bodily injury to the people on the train,’ said James, appearing to show no emotion.
‘Although it was not my intention to cause death, I was fully aware that death or deaths could occur as a result of me discharging a firearm in such an enclosed space as a subway car.’
Prosecutors denied James’ claim, saying that the government would prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he fired with the intention to kill.
Frank James, the suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting, sits as he appears during his court hearing in New York City on April 14, 2022 (Credits: Reuters)
‘The defendant intended to inflict maximum damage at the height of rush hour,’ said Assistant US Attorney Sara Winik.
James pleaded guilty to all 11 counts he faced, including 10 counts of committing a terrorist attack on a mass transit system, one for each injured rider. The terrorism charge carries a maximum sentence of life behind bars. And the last charge, firing a firearm in a violent crime, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
US Attorney Breon Peace stated that ‘this guilty plea is an important step towards holding James fully accountable and helping the victims of the defendant’s violence and our great city heal’.
A gunman filled a rush-hour subway train with smoke and shot multiple people on April 12, 2022 (Picture: AP)
James set off grenades and fired at least 33 shots from a 9mm handgun as the train entered a station in Sunset Park. He fled and had authorities on a 30-hour hunt until he called police to surrender himself. The injured victims were 16 to 60 years old.
James’ lawyers Mia Eisner-Grynberg and Amanda David stated that he ‘has accepted responsibility for his crimes since he turned himself in to law enforcement’.
‘A just sentence in this case will carefully balance the harm he caused with his age, his health, and the Bureau of Prisons’ notoriously inadequate medical care,’ they stated.
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The federal charges could land Frank James a life sentence in prison.