The man accused of fatally shooting a TSA worker at Los Angeles International Airport last month has pleaded not guilty.
Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, entered the plea on Thursday with the federal magistrate at a West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. His trial is set for Feb. 11.
Ciancia was indicted on first-degree murder and 10 other counts in the Nov. 1 shooting that killed Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez. The Associated Press writes:
“After entering the terminal, police say Ciancia pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a duffel bag and began spraying the area with gunfire as hundreds of people fled in terror.”
The Los Angeles Times writes:
“Ciancia, a native of New Jersey living in Los Angeles, had a documented hatred of TSA agents and allegedly targeted them during the attack, authorities said.
“Ciancia was shot in the head and leg by airport police, and was hospitalized for two weeks before being sent to jail. On Wednesday, courtroom observers said that Ciancia appeared healthy and able to talk on his own while in shackles. He had a bandage on his neck and an apparatus that appeared to help him breathe. He also had bruises on his face.
“If convicted, he could face life in prison or the death penalty. Prosecutors have not yet said whether they will seek the death penalty.”
Reuters reports that in his appearance in federal court:
“Ciancia had a bandage on his neck, spoke softly in a hoarse voice during the arraignment and pleaded not guilty to all charges in an 11-count federal indictment against him.”
“His family was not present at the hearing which was held in a detention facility.”
“The 5-foot-3, 110-pound Ciancia was somber and frequently touched the bandage as he sat before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Bristow. He wore a green jail jumpsuit and a gray hooded sweatshirt and was handcuffed and appeared to be shackled at the ankles for hearing.”
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