26-year-old Iraq war veteran Esteban Santiago who shot dead five people and injured 8 others at the Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida on Friday showed no emotion in court on Monday as he was told he could face the death penalty on two federal counts in the case.
Santiago who appeared at a Florida federal court just before noon for his first hearing, which lasted a little more than 15 minutes and focused mainly on his financial situation didn’t say much in court. Santiago who was shackled and wearing a red jumpsuit – answered questions firmly with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers in a Spanish accent.
A judge appointed the suspect a public defender after he said he had no job and just ‘$10’ in his bank account. He said he was making just $2,000 a month at his last job, as a security guard in Alaska.
The suspect is due back in court on Tuesday for a detention hearing and will continue to be held without bond.
Authorities say they have not ruled out terrorism as a motive and that they are investigating whether mental illness played a role or not in the horrible act.