May 13, 2022
Man pleads not guilty to terrorism, other charges in NYC subway train shooting
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NEW YORK -- A man charged with shooting up a New York City subway train last month in an attack that wounded 10 people pleaded not guilty Friday to terrorism and other charges.
Frank James entered the plea in federal court in Brooklyn, where U.S, District Judge William F. Kuntz began the proceeding by asking James, "How are you doing today?"
"Pretty good," James responded.
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 facing 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 a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The defendant was arrested April 13, about 30 hours after authorities say he drove from Philadelphia and unleashed smoke bombs and dozens of bullets in a train full of morning commuters as it approached a Brooklyn station. The shooting victims ranged in age from 16 to 60; all survived.
Authorities said James's bank card, cellphone and a key to a van he had rented were found at the shooting scene. Police also said they found the 9mm Glock semiautomatic handgun used in the shooting and traced it to James.
Defense attorney Mia Eisner-Grynberg had cautioned at at the time of James' arrest not to rush to judgment and noted that James alerted police to his whereabouts. He was arrested in Manhattan's East Village after he called a tip line saying he was at a fast food restaurant in that section of the city.
Eisner-Grynberg declined comment outside court Friday.
A motive for the attack is unclear. In numerous rants he posted on YouTube, James, who is Black, made bigoted remarks about people of various backgrounds and railed against New York Mayor Eric Adams and complained about mental health care he received in the city years ago.
James, who's being held without bail, is due back in court July 25.
News Source: abc7.com
Russian soldier pleads guilty at Ukraine war crimes trial
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A 21-year-old Russian soldier facing the first war crimes trial since Moscow invaded Ukraine pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing an unarmed civilian.
Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin could get life in prison for shooting a a 62-year-old Ukrainian man in the head through an open car window in the northeastern Sumy region on Feb. 28, four days into the invasion.
Shishimarin, a captured member of a Russian tank unit, was prosecuted under a section of the Ukrainian criminal code that addresses the laws and customs of war.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova previously said her office was readying war crimes cases against 41 Russian soldiers for offenses that included bombing civilian infrastructure, killing civilians, rape and looting.
It was not immediately clear how many of the suspects are in Ukrainian hands and how many would be tried in absentia.
As the inaugural war-crimes case in Ukraine, Shishimarin’s prosecution was being watched closely. Investigators have been collecting evidence of possible war crimes to bring before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Venediktova’s office has said it was looking into more than 10,700 potential war crimes involving more than 600 suspects, including Russian soldiers and government officials.
With help from foreign experts, prosecutors are investigating allegations that Russian troops violated Ukrainian and international law by killing, torturing and abusing possibly thousands of Ukrainian civilians.
Shishimarin’s trial opened Friday, when he made a brief court appearance while lawyers and judges discussed prosecedural matters. Ukrainian authorities posted a few details on social media last week from their investigation in his case.
Shishimarin was among a group of Russian troops that fled Ukrainian forces on Feb. 28, according to Venediktova’s Facebook account. The Russians allegedly fired at a private car and seized the vehicle, then drove to Chupakhivka, a village about 200 miles east of Kyiv.
On the way, the prosecutor-general alleged, the Russian soldiers saw a man walking on the sidewalk and talking on his phone. Shyshimarin was ordered to kill the man so he wouldn’t be able to report them to Ukrainian military authorities. Venediktova did not identify who gave the order.
Shyshimarin fired his Kalashnikov rifle through the open window and hit the victim in the head, Venediktova wrote.
“The man died on the spot just a few dozen meters from his house,” she said.
The Security Service of Ukraine, known as the SBU, posted a short video on May 4 of Shyshimarin speaking in front of camera and briefly describing how he shot the man. The SBU described the video as “one of the first confessions of the enemy invaders.”
“I was ordered to shoot,” Shyshimarin said. “I shot one (round) at him. He falls. And we kept on going.”
Russia is believed to be preparing war crime trials for Ukrainian soldiers.
Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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