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Federal Trial Date Set For South Carolina Shooter

June 08, 2016

A trial date has been set by a judge in South Carolina for the accused shooter of nine people at a Charleston, South Carolina church last year.


Roof is charged with entering the Mother Emanuel Church on June 17, 2015 and killing nine people including the pastor, Clementa Pinckney. He was caught the next day at a traffic stop in Shelby, North Carolina. He said he did it in hopes of starting a race war. Officials say that Roof targeted the people at the church based on their race as well as the Church’s history with black civil rights.

According to documents filed Tuesday, Dylann Roof, 22, is scheduled for trial in a Charleston Federal Court on November 7. Prosecutors announced in May that they are seeking the death penalty. They cited two possible offenses that could could lead to the death penalty: obstruction of exercise of religion by force resulting in death and use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence.

According to the prosecutor’s notice, Roof “expressed hatred and contempt towards African Americans, as well as other groups, and his animosity towards African Americans played a role in the murders charged in the indictment.”

The state of South Carolina does not have any hate crime laws. Last year, Roof’s attorney said he would exchange a guilty plea for a sentence of lifetime in prison.