Manhattan judge releases man accused of plotting attack on New York City synagogues

A Manhattan judge let one of the two men accused of plotting an attack on New York synagogues further free on Wednesday — after prosecutors asked for a second time in two weeks to keep him in jail without bail .

Assistant District Attorney Edward Burns argued that disturbing new facts in the case of Matthew Mahrer, 22, were reason enough to keep him incarcerated after his family posted $150,000 bail to get him released on November 21.

“We now know that Mahrer, [accused accomplice Christopher] brown and [a] third person, went to Pennsylvania on November 18 to buy a firearm. That individual who rode with them has since been arrested by federal authorities,” Burns said.

Prior to his November 19 arrest, Mahrer had sent an unnamed jailbird payment for the gun he and Brown planned to use in the alleged attacks last month, prosecutors said.

Burns also told the judge that the troubled Upper West Sider – who his attorney says has bipolar disorder and autism – bought a bulletproof vest before he and Brown were arrested with guns and a Nazi armband in connection with the alleged conspiracy.

Matthew Mahrer
Matthew Mahrer was released without bail following the alleged plot.
William Mueller

But defense attorney Brandon Lamour Freycinet said that information was already known when Mahrer’s bail was posted on November 20.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Neil Ross sided with the defense but warned that Mahrer must continue to appear in court – or his family will be forced to forfeit bail already paid.

“Make sure you understand that this is the most important commitment you’ve had in your life,” the judge warned.

Mahrer was later spotted casually puffing on a vape pen while strolling around Lower Manhattan with his attorney. He declined to comment.

Outside the courthouse, District Attorney Alvin Bragg held a press conference about why his office had twice asked for the suspect to be remanded in custody.

Christopher Brown
Christopher Brown is an accused accomplice in the case.
Kevin C Downs for NY Post

“We applied for pre-trial detention when the charges were first filed. We requested it today because of the seriousness of the facts when we made our request,” he said, adding. “The judge has decided.”

He added that it was “important” to point out that Brown was being held without bail last month.

Brown also appeared in handcuffs in court on Wednesday when both he and Mahrer were charged with the alleged conspiracy charges.

Police last month seized a loaded handgun with an extended magazine and a bulletproof vest that Mahrer and Brown allegedly intended to use in an attack on a synagogue, prosecutors said.

Both were charged with a range of charges including conspiracy, criminal firearms possession and criminal firearms possession. Brown also faces terrorism and hate crime charges. Manhattan judge releases man accused of plotting attack on New York City synagogues


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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