Ajudge has again delayed the trial of Dylann Roof, the suspected White supremacist who killed nine parishioners at a historic Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, as prosecutors decide whether to pursue the death penalty.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel issued the delay, but urged the federal government to make a decision regarding Roof, 22, who plans to plead guilty if the death penalty isn’t handed down, Yahoo News reports. Roof was arrested in June 2015 for opening fire at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church – an act prosecutors have labeled a hate crime.
Both sides are willing to undergo a speedy trial, but delays have pushed back the process. In February, a judge granted a delay in order for Roof’s defense team to prepare for the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson told reporters the death penalty decision will be announced by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Family members of the victims were in court on Tuesday (April 5), while Roof was not.
Via Yahoo News:
“This is obviously a very important decision and one that’s being taken quite deliberately,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson said. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel added, “There are victims here. They have a right to put this behind them.”
Roof has been charged with 33 federal hate crime and firearms charges for the shooting. The case is expected to go to trial July 11.
Meanwhile, Roof’s friend Joseph Meek is facing charges for concealing knowledge of a crime and lying to an FBI agent about the shooting. A trial date hasn’t been set.
SOURCE: Yahoo News | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform