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Family delivers emotional statements during Poway synagogue shooter sentencing

Posted at 5:10 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 20:10:49-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The gunman who opened fire on the Chabad of Poway in April of 2019 was formally sentenced for his crimes Thursday in a San Diego County courtroom, but not before he sat and listened to emotional statements from the victims, including loved ones of Lori Kaye, who died in the attack.

One of the first to speak was Kaye's older sister, Ellen Edwards.

"What do you say in front of the person who killed my sister? I hate you but that just doesn't seem enough and I think you should turn around I want to see your face and look in your eyes Mr. Earnest," Edwards said.

After her comments, the court was informed that Earnest was not allowed to turn away from the table.

RELATED: Poway synagogue shooter John Earnest sentenced to life in prison

Earnest pleaded guilty to shooting and killing 60-year-old Kaye and injuring three others, including a child.

He admitted to investigators that the attack was fueled by ideas of white supremacy and hatred towards Jews.

Also addressing the court was Kori's husband Dr. Howard Kaye, "With the loss of Lori, it has left my daughter and myself with deep loneliness which with time gets no better."

His daughter, Hannah Kaye, was the last to speak.

She too was at the Chabad during the shooting and recalled the last moments of her mother's life.

"My mother tried to run for her life. She wanted to live another day, she wanted to survive," Kaye said.

Earnest reportedly requested to speak at the hearing, but the judge denied that request.

Earnest also pleaded guilty to federal crimes and sentencing for that case is expected in December.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys are recommending a life sentence.