NEW YORK (PIX11) — The federal trial of the man who admittedly used a rented truck to run people over along a Lower Manhattan bike path in 2017, killing eight, is expected to head to a jury on Wednesday.
Sayfullo Saipov, 34, carried out the horrific act of terror on Halloween 2017, intentionally striking innocent people on the path just a short distance from the World Trade Center. Prosecutors allege that Saipov carried out the attack in a bid to impress and join the ISIS terror organization. Saipov’s own attorney does not dispute his client’s culpability, but says that he was acting alone, his only intention to become a martyr.
Prosecutors have argued that Saipov only stopped his rampage because he struck a school bus, injuring children aboard. He then got out of the truck waving around pellet and paintball guns and was shot by police. Eight people were killed in the attack.
In arguing against a racketeering charge, Saipov’s defense attorney has said that his client expected to die in the attack, meaning that he had no expectation of joining ISIS.
If a jury returns a guilty verdict, the trial will then move to the penalty phase, with the death penalty on the table. Unless the jurors unanimously decide in favor of the death penalty, Saipov would be sentenced to life in prison.