Dylann Roof, the accused shooter behind the Charleston massacre that took place at a Black church in 2015, asked a federal judge if he can have a defense team for his murder trial. The 22-year-old issued a letter to U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Sunday asking that he have his defense team come back to represent him up until the sentencing phase of his trial. “Can you let me have them back for the guilt phase, and then let me represent myself for the sentencing phase of the trial?” wrote Roof. “If you would allow that, then that is what I would like to do.” Roof, who killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last year, is facing the death penalty in a state murder trial which is slated to kick off in 2017. Defense lawyers and prosecutors will narrow down a pool of 70 jurors on Wednesday. A court hearing is slated to take place at the U.S. District Court in Charleston on Monday. Read more.
Nearly 40 Feared Dead In Oakland Warehouse Fire
More details have been revealed related to a tragic fire that took place in an Oakland warehouse during a concert on Friday. According to officials, the death toll could possibly reach 40. Nine people were pronounced dead and dozens of individuals are still missing. Firefighters are still sifting through the warehouse for remains. “We don’t know how far into the process we are, because we don’t absolutely have a number of people that we know are deceased inside of there,” said Sergeant Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. “There’s still a lot of the building that needs to be searched.” It is believed that there were between 50 and 100 partygoers there that evening. The two-story warehouse was used by artists as a space to live and work. Law enforcement officials say that there was no permit for the party. There were reportedly no smoke detectors or sprinklers in the building. The cause behind the blaze remains unknown. Read more.
Joe McKnight’s Shooter Will Not Face Charges
The gunman who admitted to shooting former NFL player Joe McKnight in Louisiana on Thursday was let go without any charges. According to reports, 54-year-old Ronald Gasser was freed without being charged on Friday as law enforcement officials continue to investigate the road rage incident. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying that both McKnight and Gasser were involved in a “heated verbal exchange” before Gasser pulled the trigger and took McKnight’s life. Some believe that race is a factor in this incident since Gasser is White and McKnight is Black. Many people took to Twitter to express their outrage about Gasser being freed without any charges. “I try to be measured in these situations but how in the hell, less than 24 hours after the fact, u just let a man free who killed someone?!” tweeted ESPN NFL analyst Damien Woody. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand says the decision has nothing to do with race. “Everybody wants to make this about race. This isn’t about race,” said Normand. “This investigation is not going to be moved, influenced, coerced or changed in any way by any external force, comments or otherwise.” Read more.
Alec Baldwin Claps Back At Donald Trump On Twitter
President-elect Donald Trump has been outspoken about his disapproval of SNL skits that mock him. On Sunday, he took to Twitter to express his outrage over actor Alec Baldwin’s impression of him. “Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable!” tweeted Trump. “Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse. Sad.” Baldwin responded to the post saying “@realDonaldTrump Release your tax returns and I’ll stop. Ha.” Trump’s tax returns were a central focus throughout the entire election. He has refused to release his returns, claiming that the IRS is auditing them. According to reports, Trump may have dodged paying taxes for nearly 18 years after he lost almost $1 billion 21 years ago. Read more.
‘Luke Cage’ Will Return For A Second Season
Netflix’s hit series Luke Cage will return for a second season. Marvel took to social media to share the news on Sunday. “Always forward. #LukeCage,” posted the account along with a video that featured a sign with the words “Season 2 Coming Soon.” The series, which is centered on a superhero in Harlem played by actor Mike Colter, received rave reviews during its first season. “People can be inspired by this character and hopefully look at him as someone you want to emulate or at least is morally strong. The character is trying to think that of other people. He’s not just trying to solve everyone’s problems. That’s not possible,” Colter told Harper’s Bazaar. “But he wants to inspire other people to take action and do what’s right. To be a leader in this community. I think that’s more important than anything.” Read more.