A man accused last month of shooting down a New York City subway in an attack that injured 10 people, pleaded not guilty to terrorism and other charges on Friday.
presented the plea in federal court in Brooklyn, where U.S. District Judge William F. Kuntz began proceedings by asking James, “How are you today?”
“Pretty good,” James replied.
When asked about his educational background, James said he attended public schools in the Bronx before earning a GED. He said he also attended some trade schools.
James, 62, is accused of committing a terrorist attack or other violence against a mass transportation system and firing a firearm during a violent crime. Both counts carry a maximum life sentence.
The defendant was arrested on April 13, about 30 hours after authorities said he had driven from Philadelphia and released smoke bombs and dozens of bullets into a train full of morning commuters as it approached a Brooklyn station. The victims of the shooting ranged in age from 16 to 60; all survived.
Authorities said James’ bank card, cell phone and a key to a van he had rented were found at the scene of the shooting. Police also said they found the 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol used in the shooting and traced it to James.
Attorney Mia Eisner-Grynberg had warned at the time of James’s arrest not to rush judgment and noted that James notified police of his whereabouts. He was arrested in Manhattan’s East Village after calling a tip line that he was at a fast food restaurant in that part of town.
Eisner-Grynberg declined to comment out of court Friday. James, who is being held without bail, is due to appear in court again on July 25.
CBS New YorkJames’ attorneys allege federal agents falsely questioned him, saying the FBI took DNA samples from James and told him to sign documents without warning his attorneys.
A motive for the attack is unclear. Jamesonline in the weeks leading up to his arrest in which he filed a variety of grievances, including some against New York Mayor Eric Adams and complaining about the number of homeless people in New York City. The videos also include commentary on how easy he thought it would be to commit crimes on the subway system, despite an increase in police presence.
Other topics covered in the videos include Russian President Vladimir Putin, the war in Ukraine, and various personal grievances with acquaintances.