UPDATED: Friday, December 9, 10:59 AM EST:
Dylann Roof‘s mother, Amelia Cowles, suffered a heart attack after prosecutors detailed how her son planned the cold and calculated killing of nine Black church members in June 2015 at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, reports NBC NEWS:
Roof’s mother collapsed and said “I’m sorry” several times on Wednesday as family members and court security came to help her during the opening of her son’s federal death penalty trial.
Roof’s attorney mentioned the heart attack in court documents asking for a mistrial, saying a survivor’s testimony was so emotional that “spectators and even court personnel — including members of the prosecution and defense — were crying with her.”
The documents didn’t give the mother’s current condition.
SOURCE: NBC News
The trial for Emanuel AME church shooter Dylann Roof kicked off Wednesday in Charleston, South Carolina with gripping testimony from one of three survivors, who described him as evil incarnate, according to The Washington Post.
Survivor Felicia Sanders, the first witness, fought back tears as she recalled the incident, saying a “Bible study group had welcomed him, and ‘he just sat there the whole time, evil, evil, evil as can be,'” writes the news outlet.
Roof is charged with pumping more than 60 bullets into nine victims, including Sanders’ 26-year-old son, Tywanza, at the historic church to provoke a race war in America.
Roof, who sat stone faced in the courtroom, appeared unmoved as prosecutors displayed images of victims for the jury, writes The Post:
U.S. attorney Jay Richardson, prosecuting Roof on 33 counts of federal hate crimes, used his opening statement to introduce jurors to the men and women he said Roof killed during a church basement Bible study on June 17, 2015.
As their pictures appeared, Richardson sketched them in words: the Rev. Clementa Pinckney: pastor, husband, father; the Rev. Daniel Simmons: spiritual guide; the Rev. Sharonda Singleton: ray of sunshine, loving mother, track coach; the Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor: singer, whose four young daughters always carried milkshakes to church; Cynthia Hurd: wife, sister, librarian; Ethel Lance: grandmother, church usher; Susie Jackson: called Aunt Susie by everyone, proud matriarch of the sprawling Jackson family; Tywanza Sanders, 26, a man just beginning to see the promise of an extraordinarily bright future; and Myra Thompson, leading her first Bible study.
Sanders played dead as her son and others were shot. “Seventy-seven shots in that room, from someone we thought was looking for the Lord,” Sanders testified, The Post writes.
SOURCE: The Washington Post