Man pleads not guilty in blast by Calif. synagogue

AP News
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Posted: May 23, 2011 5:17 PM
Man pleads not guilty in blast by Calif. synagogue

A homeless man has pleaded not guilty to charges he set off a homemade bomb near a Southern California synagogue.

Sixty-year-old Ron Hirsch entered pleas Monday in Los Angeles federal court to four felonies involving use of an explosive and a destructive device. He faces up to 70 years in federal prison if convicted.

Hirsch is accused of setting off an April explosion that caused a 250-pound steel pipe partially encased in concrete to crash through the roof of a home next to the Chabad (hah-BAHD) House synagogue in Santa Monica.

Some debris went through the ceiling of a bedroom where a 12-year-old girl was sleeping but nobody was hurt.

Hirsch was later tracked to Cleveland and arrested.

He also faces state charges that carry a potential life sentence.