Club Q Shooter Pleads Guilty to Hate Crimes in Effort to Avoid Death Penalty

The shooter convicted of killing five people at a Colorado Springs L.G.B.T.Q. nightclub in 2022 pleaded guilty on Tuesday to federal hate crime and firearm violations. Under the agreement, federal prosecutors did not seek the death penalty for Anderson Lee Aldrich, 24, who is nonbinary and uses the pronouns they/them.

The Justice Department had announced a plea agreement with Mx. Aldrich in January, which included life in prison without the possibility of parole plus a consecutive sentence of 190 years in prison.

In federal court in Denver, U.S. District Judge Charlotte N. Sweeney said she would wait until she had heard from anyone who wanted to speak at the hearing before deciding whether to accept or reject the plea agreement. If the judge accepts the plea, Mx. Aldrich will be sentenced according to the agreement. If she does not accept the agreement, both parties could withdraw.

This is a developing story.

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