UPDATED: 11/29/16 5:31AM
The slow process of picking a jury for the federal death penalty trial of the white man accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church continues with the defendant now in charge of his own defense.
A judge on Monday ruled that Dylann Roof could represent himself during the trial, which is expected to last into next year.
Roof faces dozens of charges including hate crimes and obstruction of religion in connection with the shooting. Police say Roof hurled racist insults at the six women and three men he’s accused of killing and the three people he left alive in the June 2015 attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
So far, seven people have been qualified to possibly serve on the jury.
UPDATED: 11/28/16 11:06AM
A judge in South Carolina says the man who’s accused of killing 9 black parishioners at a Charleston church can act as his own attorney in his federal trial. Dylann Roof is charged with counts including hate crimes and obstruction of religion in connection with the June 17, 2015, attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Roof requested to represent himself before prospective jurors where brought into the courtroom this morning.
He faces a possible death sentence if convicted.
Twitter reaction to news that Roof will act as his own attorney: #DylannRoof
— Christina Swarns (@ChristinaSwarns) November 28, 2016
— Melba Pearson (@ResLegalDiva) November 28, 2016
Original post: 11/25/16
Jury selection is resuming anew in the federal case of a white man on trial for fatally shooting nine black parishioners at a Charleston church last year.
Twenty-two-year-old Dylann Roof is charged with counts including hate crimes and obstruction of religion in the Emanuel AME Church shootings. It’s the first of two death penalty trials he faces.
The selection process was halted Nov. 7 after Roof’s lawyers questioned his ability to understand the case against him. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel’s ruling last week cleared the way for Monday’s process to begin anew.
Beginning Monday, 516 potential jurors will report to the courthouse to be individually questioned by the judge. When 70 qualified jurors are picked, attorneys can use strikes to dismiss those they don’t want.
Source: COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)