NEW YORK (AP) — A man accused of shooting at a New York City subway train last month in an attack that injured 10 people pleaded not guilty Friday to terrorism and other charges.
Frank James pleaded 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.
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, faces charges of carrying out a terrorist attack or other violence against a public transportation system and discharging a firearm in a violent crime. Both counts carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The accused was arrested on April 13, about 30 hours after authorities said he drove from Philadelphia and dropped smoke bombs and dozens of bullets into a train full of morning commuters as he walked was approaching a train station in Brooklyn. The victims of the shootings ranged in age from 16 to 60; all survived.
Authorities said James’ bank card, cell phone and key to a van he rented were found at the scene of the shooting. Police also said they found the 9mm Glock semi-automatic handgun used in the shooting and traced it to James.
Defense attorney Mia Eisner-Grynberg had warned at the time of James’ arrest not to rush to trial and noted that James had alerted police to his whereabouts. He was arrested in Manhattan’s East Village after calling a tip line saying he was at a fast food joint in that part of town.
Eisner-Grynberg declined to comment in court on Friday.
The motive for the attack is unclear. In numerous rants he posted on YouTube, James, who is black, made bigoted remarks about people from diverse backgrounds and railed against New York City Mayor Eric Adams and complained about care of mental health he received in the city years ago.
James, who is being held without bond, is due back in court on July 25.