The Watch Dog: Airport Shooter Held in San Bernardino Pleads Not Guilty
By Derek Obregon
The holidays bring about crazy times as everyone rearranges their travel plans and the unpredictability of Mother Nature steps in. Not everyone gets the pleasure of traveling exactly according to plan, but some things just shouldn’t happen like they do.
Paul Ciancia ruined a bunch of travel plans and holidays, when he opened fire at the Los Angeles International Airport last month, killing one individual and wounding several others. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him and Ciancia has been arraigned at the San Bernardino County Jail facility since Nov. 28.
The charges against him are 11 felony counts, including one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder for allegedly opening fire on Nov. 1 at LAX terminal 3.
When U.S. Magistrate Judge David T. Bristow read Ciancia his rights, he just sat quietly between his federal public defenders John L. Littrel and Hilary L. Potashner. Ciancia entered the not guilty plea himself.
According to people that were inside the courtroom at this time, Ciancia spoke in a horse whisper and seemed to have a hard time swallowing during the hearing. There was a scar on his chin and a large bandage covering his throat; the evidence that he was still recovering from his wounds that the police gave him during the airport shooting.
This trial was scheduled by Bristow to have a status conference on Jan. 27 and the actual trial on Feb. 11, but that could be delayed.
The reason given for the possible delay is that all of the evidence has not been handed over. The defense is still holding on to certain evidence, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Thom Mrozek.
It is not surprising that this case will be delayed because there is a lot at stake for Ciancia. Three of the charges filed against him carry the potential for the death penalty: murder of a federal officer (Transportation Security Administration agent Gerardo Hernandez), use of a firearm that led to murder and an act of violence at an airport.
The man that will decide if the death penalty is an appropriate penalty in this particular case will be Attorney General Eric Holder.
This story takes us all over because Ciancia is a native of New Jersey. He is accused of storming into Terminal 3 with an assault rifle and killing Hernandez and wounding three others. Two of them were TSA workers and the last victim was just an innocent traveler.
Ciancia for one reason or another had something against the TSA workers because he had a handwritten rant about killing TSA workers. He also carried dozens of rounds of ammunition.