Friday, November 25, 2016

Dylann Roof Found Competent to Stand Trial for South Carolina Church Slayings
Good Morning America
ABC News

State prosecutors announced that they will seek the death penalty against Dylann Roof, 21, who is accused of killing nine people at Emanuel AME Church in June.

A judge in South Carolina ruled today that accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof is competent to stand trial.

Roof stands charged with the deaths of the Charleston Nine — black worshippers who were gunned down at a historic black church during an evening Bible study on June 17, 2015.

"After carefully considering the record before the court, the relevant legal standards and the arguments of counsel, the court now finds and concludes that the defendant is competent to stand trial," Judge Richard Gergel wrote in his order.

A psychiatric review of Roof was completed on Nov. 15, the court document said, and a competency hearing was held on Nov. 21 and 22.

In his order, Gergel said jury selection in the case would begin on Monday.

The Charleston church massacre was quickly characterized as a hate crime by officials. Images and other evidence found online suggest that Roof held white supremacist views, authorities said.

He is thought to have spent an hour attending the Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church with his victims before opening fire, police said at the time.

After the shooting, Roof was quickly identified as the suspect and was apprehended the next morning in North Carolina, after a citizen spotted his car and reported it to police.

The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the church's pastor and a former state senator, was among those killed.

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