The man accused of opening fire on a New York Subway platform pleaded guilty to terrorism charges.
Frank James, 62, allegedly released a smoke bomb on a Brooklyn platform for the Manhattan-bound N train on April 12, 2022 and began firing at commuters. At least 29 people were injured as a result of the attack. James evaded the police for roughly 30 hours. He was eventually captured after calling a police tipline with information about his location.
Initially, James appeared before United States District Judge William Kuntz in May and entered a “not guilty” plea.
While in court on Jan. 3, James changed his plea of “guilt.” He has been charged with 10 counts of committing a terrorist attack and other violence against a mass transportation system and vehicle carrying passengers and employees and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. The 10 counts are for each victim injured by the gunfire.
The charges come with a recommended sentencing range of 31 to 37 years in prison.
In a letter to Kuntz, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said the prosecution will recommend 40 years to life if James “does not clearly demonstrate acceptance of responsibility,” per WHDH.
James posted frequently on a YouTube channel contemplating violence and mass shootings and criticizing New York Mayor Eric Adams. He also frequently discussed race, saying in one video that back people and white people “should not have any contact with one another.”
“I’ve been through a lot of s—, where I can say I wanted to kill people. I wanted to watch people die right in front of my f—ing face immediately,” he said in a post one day before his attack. “But I thought about the fact that, hey man, I don’t want to go to no f—ing prison.”
The channel was removed from YouTube after the attack.
On other social media platforms, James shared posts with messages from extremist black identity groups including the Nation of Islam, the Black Panthers, and the Black Liberation Army.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Winik described James’s attack as premeditated and an act of terror. James was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation and was held without bail.
“James’s admission of guilt to all eleven counts of the superseding indictment acknowledges the terror and pain he caused,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a press release, per WSJM. “This guilty plea is an important step towards holding James fully accountable and helping the victims of the defendant’s violence and our great city heal.”