Man pleads not guilty to hate crimes in Kroger shootings

Gregory Alan Bush, arrested for fatally shooting 2 people at a Kroger grocery store in Louisville, Kentucky, Photo Date: 10/25/2018 / Photo: Louisville Metro Dept. of Corrections / (MGN)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A white man accused of fatally shooting two black people at a Kentucky grocery store has pleaded not guilty to federal hate crimes.

The Courier Journal reports 51-year-old Gregory Bush entered the plea Monday in U.S. District Court. He'd already pleaded not guilty to state charges in the Oct. 24 killings of 69-year-old Maurice Stallar and 67-year-old Vickie Lee Jones.

Bush had stopped at a historically black church near the Kroger in suburban Louisville before heading to the grocery, where Stallar and Jones were shot at close range.

U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman declined to say if he has recommended seeking the death penalty.

Chief Federal Public Defender Scott Wendelsdorf says his office hasn't yet assigned a public defender.