New York Subway Shooter DENIED Bail

The 62-year-old man charged in the shooting of 10 people on the New York Subway on April 12, was placed in pre-trial detention on Thursday, and will be held without bail, a judge ordered during his first appearance in federal court.

Frank R. James, 62,  is alleged to have detonated two smoke canisters in the train before firing into the crowd leaving 23 people injured, non fatally. This led to a more than 24-hour hunt that led to his arrest and being charged with attacking a mass transit system, among other charges.

During a brief hearing Thursday, James appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann in Brooklyn, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. James told the court he understood the charges, while his lawyers requested a psychiatric evaluation.

U.S. Attorney Sara Winik cited the magnitude of the charges saying, “The defendant terrifyingly opened fire on passengers on a crowded subway train, interrupting their morning commute in a way the city hasn’t seen in more than 20 years. The defendant’s attack was premeditated, was carefully planned, and it caused terror among the victims and our entire city.”

According to James’ lawyer Mia Eisner-Grynberg, “Mr. James saw his photograph on the news, he called Crime Stoppers to help. He told them he was at a McDonald’s in Manhattan.” After the crime stoppers tip, New York City Police Department patrol officers arrested James Wednesday afternoon in Manhattan’s East Village.

Grynberg told the federal court in Brooklyn, “What happened in the New York subway system Tuesday was a tragedy. It’s a blessing that it was not worse.” She highlighted that James was arrested peacefully after calling the tip line himself, adding that initial press and police reports in cases like this are often inaccurate and Mr. James is entitled to a fair trial.”

Police recovered a work jacket along with other items from the scene, including a plastic gas container, a torch, a U-Haul key for the van he had rented, multiple bank cards, fireworks, and a Glock 17 pistol that James legally purchased in Ohio with its serial number having apparently been attempted to be defaced.

U.S. district attorneys have said James could face a life sentence if convicted of violating a federal prohibition on terrorist and other violent attacks against mass transportation system. 

In 1995 James was arrested in Essex County, New Jersey for making terroristic threats, according to spokesperson for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Katherine Carter. He was convicted of lower charge of harassment and sentenced to one year probation.

According to New York City Police Department, James had at least nine prior arrests in New York and at least three in New Jersey.

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