Attorneys for a white man charged with killing 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket were unable during a court proceeding Thursday to secure a year’s delay in state prosecution.
Payton Gendron’s attorneys asked a judge for the delay while a federal case against him proceeds. The federal hate crime charges could potentially carry a death penalty, and Gendron’s attorneys said their work in the state case could negatively effect efforts by Gendron’s federal defense attorneys, The Buffalo News reported.
“At the end of the day, we don’t want our client killed,” attorney Robert Cutting told the judge.
While rejecting the one-year stay, Erie County Judge Susan Eagan granted the defense team until Oct. 6 to go through the voluminous evidence and to indicate whether it will pursue a psychiatric defense, according to the newspaper.
Gendron, 19, has been held without bail since his arrest shortly after the May 14 attack at a Tops Friendly Supermarket, which also left three people wounded.
He was charged in a 25-count indictment in a state court with hate-motivated domestic terrorism, first-degree murder, attempted murder and murder as a hate crime. He has pleaded not guilty.
Gendron’s attorneys said in court they were told it would take a year before federal prosecutors decide whether to seek the death penalty.
Gendron, wearing an orange jumpsuit, was handcuffed and shackled in court.
Because of a gag order, attorneys are not allowed to comment on the case.