Getty Images

Feds will pursue death penalty against man charged in Halloween terror attack

October 01, 2018 - 10:05 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Federal prosecutors don't usually ask for the death penalty, but they're going to make an exception for Sayfullo Saipov, the man charged with driving a truck down the West Side bike path last Halloween killing eight people.

Shortly after the attack, the president tweeted his support for putting Saipov to death.

"NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET THE DEATH PENALTY!"

Saipov reportedly had offered to plead guilty if prosecutors did not pursue the death penalty, but it seems they've declined the offer.

The defense claims the justice department was influenced by the president's tweet, the justice department denies that claim.

“The attorney general appropriately exercised his discretion in determining that the circumstances of this case—which involve a terrorist attack that caused extensive death and human suffering—justify the ultimate sanction available,” prosecutors said in court papers.

Saipov is from Uzbekistan. He told investigators that he was influenced by Islamic State videos that he watched on his cell phone.