Judge sets February trial date for accused New York subway shooter

NEW YORK, July 25 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Monday set a tentative late February trial date for Frank James, the man accused of carrying out an April 12 shooting and smoke bomb attack in a New York subway car.

James, 62, is accused of injuring 23 people during the morning rush hour on a Manhattan-bound N-train in Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood, in one of the most violent attacks in the history of the city's transit system. No one was killed.

James in May pleaded not guilty to terrorism and weapons charges. read more

U.S. District Judge William Kuntz set the Feb. 27 trial date at a Monday hearing in Brooklyn federal court, noting that the date could be pushed back.

When asked by Kuntz at the start of the hearing how he was doing, James replied, "Not too good." James told the court he had been watching "a bit of baseball" and had "read things in the press" that he was not happy about, but did not elaborate.

James is being held at Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center, where several high-profile defendants including British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell have raised concerns about subpar conditions. read more

Mia Eisner-Grynberg, a lawyer for James, declined to comment after the hearing.

The attack followed a string of violent crimes in America's largest metropolitan transit system, including instances of commuters being pushed onto subway tracks.

Less than two months after the attack, a man was arrested in the fatal, unprovoked shooting of a man on a subway car crossing a bridge from Brooklyn into Manhattan, and in June another man was arrested on suspicion of pushing a woman onto the tracks of a subway station in the city's borough of the Bronx. read more

Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York Editing by Bill Berkrot

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