US: White killer of black churchgoers fit for trial

Dylann Roof to face death penalty after judge rules defendant competent for trial

US: White killer of black churchgoers fit for trial

World Bulletin / News Desk

 The alleged perpetrator of racially-motivated killings at a South Carolina church last year was ruled competent Friday to stand trial in a federal court starting next week.

Dylann Roof, who is white and 22 years old, faces the death penalty for racially abusing and killing nine black worshippers at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015.

He sat through an hour-long prayer service at the church before pulling out a gun and firing off dozens of rounds, according to police.

He allowed three of his victims to live so they could tell the world the shooting occurred because he hated black people, according to authorities.

Earlier this month during jury selection in the case, Roof’s legal team said he could not understand the charges against him, which include hate crime and obstruction of religion, and he would not be able to defend himself at trial.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled, citing psychological analysis reports, that Roof was competent to stand trial, rendering the challenge void.

Defense lawyers filed an earlier unsuccessful challenge in August when they demanded that the death penalty not be pursued in the case.

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Last Mod: 25 Kasım 2016, 20:58
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