Authorities said the man accused of one of the most violent rampages on New York City’s public transportation system in years is expected to plead guilty to terrorism charges in the Brooklyn subway shooting.
Frank James’ lawyer filed paperwork on Wednesday indicating that he would enter a guilty plea in the April 12 attack, and a hearing has been scheduled for January 3.
Ten people were shot and 13 others were injured in the gunfire and smoke bomb attack on a Brooklyn subway, which shook the city and triggered a 30-hour manhunt before James was apprehended in Manhattan.
According to police, the gunman donned a gas mask and detonated two smoke canisters before opening fire on a Manhattan-bound train around 8:30 a.m.
According to police, James, then 62, rented a U-Haul van, the keys to which were discovered at the scene in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighbourhood.
Authorities said James appeared to have posted videos on social media expressing bigoted views, violence, and criticism of New York Mayor Eric Adams’ policies addressing public safety and homeless outreach on subways.
Federal prosecutors said in April that James had premeditated intentions and access to a weapon stockpile.
“The defendant committed a premeditated mass shooting on the New York City subway system and then fled the scene, with a stockpile of ammunition and other dangerous items stowed in his storage unit,” federal prosecutors wrote.
In May, a federal grand jury indicted James on charges of committing a terrorist attack or other violence against a mass transportation system and discharging a firearm during a violent crime. Both counts carry maximum sentences of life in prison. The mandatory minimum sentence for the weapons count is ten years.
The same month, James entered a not guilty plea in federal court in Brooklyn.