Man pleads not guilty in fatal Clifton church shooting

The man accused of shooting three people, two of them fatally, inside a Clifton church pleaded not guilty Friday in his first court appearance.

Joseph Pallipurath is accused of killing his estranged wife, 24-year-old Reshma James, and a man who came to her aid, Dennis John Mallosseril. The shooting occurred at St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Knanaya Church on Nov. 23. Authorities say he drove from California to confront James.

Pallipurath waived extradition from Georgia, where he was captured a day after the shootings. The 27-year-old is charged with the two homicides, one count of attempted murder and weapons offenses. His bail was raised from $2 million to $5 million after the prosecution expressed concern that Pallipurath?s family in India and California may be able to post a $2 million bond. Pallipurath is also considered a flight risk since he has no ties to New Jersey.

Meanwhile, the third victim, James? cousin, remains in a coma with a gunshot wound to the head.

The prosecutor's office says the case could go to a grand jury in three to four months. Pallipurath will be held in the Passaic County jail.

Clifton church shooting suspect captured in Georgia Second victim dies from Clifton church shooting Gunman kills 1, severely injures 2 inside Clifton church

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