Dylann Roof Ruled Competent To Stand Trial For Charleston Church Shooting
Dylann Roof, the man who has been accused of killing nine parishioners in a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, has been ruled competent to stand trial by a federal judge.
Washington Post reported that U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel made the ruling on Friday, Nov. 25.
“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,” Gergel said.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Roof, who is charged with federal hate crimes stemming from a June 2015 shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a prayer service. Nine people were killed, including state senator Clementa C. Pinckney, and one person survived. Emanuel A.M.E. Church was founded in 1816, making it the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the south.
Roof, who was 21 years old at the time, was arrested the morning after the attack as a suspect. Authorities said they found Roof’s website, which had a racist manifesto disparaging black, Jewish and Hispanic people, along with photos of Roof holding a .45-caliber Glock pistol and a Confederate flag.
Gergel halted the case’s jury selection on after defense attorneys presented evidence that questioned Roof’s ability to understand the nature of the proceedings. He appointed James C. Ballenger to review the evidence. Gergel kept the evidence sealed to ensure a fair trial.
Jury selection for the case will resume on Monday.