The 19-year-old white gunman who targeted and killed 10 Black people and injured three others at a Buffalo, N.Y. grocery store pled guilty to state charges against him Monday. Payton Gendron, the accused gunman in the May 14 mass shooting, was charged on several counts: one count of domestic terrorism in the first degree, 10 counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime, three counts of attempted second-degree murder as a hate crime and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, reports NPR. Buffalo attorney Terrance Connors, who represents families of the victims, said attorneys were made aware three weeks ago of a potential guilty plea to Gendron's state charges. "He's going to plead guilty to the 25 counts in the indictment. And I assume that the sentence will be life imprisonment without parole," Connors said.
At the federal level, Gendron is facing 27 counts, including 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, three counts of hate crimes involving an attempt to kill, along with 13 counts of using carrying or discharging a firearm. If convicted on all 27 federal charges, Gendron could face the death penalty or a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. "The Justice Department fully recognizes the threat that white supremacist violence poses to the safety of the American people and American democracy," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in July. He has not announced a decision on seeking the death penalty. News of the gunman's expected guilty plea comes after he chose not to pursue a psychiatric defense last month in the state case.