Esteban Santiago, 26, a former Iraqi war veteran who had shot and killed five people as well as injuring six more at a shooting he carried out at the Fort Lauderdale Airport pleaded not guilty towards all charges against him last Monday.
Whilst in court Santiago had said that he understood each and every one of the 22 charges that were set against him, as Barry Seltzer, the U.S. Magistrate Judge read aloud to him a 17 page prosecution.
Santiago was handcuffed in court and his red jumpsuit bared the words on the back of it saying ‘Max Custody Inmate.’
One of Santiago’s lawyers then told Judge Seltzer that the accused has pleaded not guilty to all 22 allegations against him.
Life or Death Sentence
The former war veteran is said to face a sentence of life imprisonment or perhaps receive the death penalty if he was to be charged on this matter.
The charges include killing five lives at an international airport, injuring six more, six more counts for using gun during the incident, and more.
After the hearing last Monday Santiago was then transferred to the Federal Detention Center situated within downtown Miami.
A Planned Crime
The war veteran is said to have a history regarding mental health issues, and after the shooting was over he had offered no resistance to the authorities and surrendered himself after the clip in his gun had finished.
Grand jurors who accused Santiago for this matter stated that not only did he cause death and critical injuries towards others, but the entire ordeal had been premeditated and planned accordingly beforehand.
Meanwhile FBI agents involved in the matter have testified in court that Santiago had admitted that he planned the shooting.
As of now no terror linked motives have been assigned to the incident, but prosecutors have not ignored the possibility of doing so.