Paul Anthony Ciancia pleaded not guilty Thursday to 11 federal counts, including murder and attempted murder, in connection with the Nov. 1 shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport that left a Transportation Security Administration officer dead.
Ciancia, 23, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Bristow during a hearing at a detention center in Rancho Cucamonga, where he is recovering from gunshot wounds he sustained in the rampage.
Ciancia, who wore a large bandage over his throat, spoke only briefly at Thursday’s hearing. In a hoarse voice, he said “not guilty” when asked how he would plead. At a Dec. 4 appearance, Bristow denied bail for Ciancia, citing the potential of him being a flight risk and posing a danger to the community.
If convicted, Ciancia could face life in prison or the death penalty. Prosecutors have not yet said whether they will seek the death penalty. They said the decision would be made by the U.S. attorney general. A trial date was set for Feb. 11 in Los Angeles, but prosecutors said that date likely could be pushed back.
Ciancia is accused of killing TSA Officer Gerardo I. Hernandez and wounding three others during the rampage. Hernandez, 39, was the first TSA officer to die in the line of duty since the agency was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Ciancia, a native of New Jersey living in Los Angeles, had a documented hatred of TSA agents and allegedly targeted them during the attack, authorities said.
Ciancia was shot in the head and leg by airport police and was hospitalized for two weeks before being jailed.