Terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court Tuesday to charges of killing eight people along the West Street bike path last month.
Saipov, 29, of Paterson, New Jersey, was indicted last week for murder and attempted murder in aid of racketeering for mowing down bicyclists and pedestrians with a rented pickup truck during the Oct. 31 attack. In addition to the eight dead, 12 were injured.
He could face the death penalty if the government chooses to seek it. Saipov’s lawyer, David Patton, said he would propose an experienced capital defense lawyer within the next 30 days to assist in discussions with prosecutors about their decision.
In statements after his rampage, Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant, allegedly said he was a supporter of the Islamic State and planned his attack for Halloween to maximize the carnage. President Donald Trump has called for the death penalty in the case.
Manhattan U.S. District Judge Vincent Broderick scheduled Saipov’s next court appearance for Jan. 23.