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Charleston Church Shootings: Accused 'Hate Crimer' Dylann Roof Found Competent for Trial

( [email protected] ) Nov 25, 2016 11:19 AM EST
Dylann Roof, the white man accused of killing nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church has been declared competent to stand trial by Judge Richard Gergel around 9:30 a.m. Friday. Jury selection for this matter is scheduled to begin Monday.
Dylann Roof, the suspect in a 2015 Charleston, S.C., church shooting of nine people at Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was found competent on Nov. 25, 2015, to stand trial for 33 federal counts. ABC News

Dylann Roof, the white man accused of killing nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church has been declared competent to stand trial by Judge Richard Gergel around 9:30 a.m. Friday. Jury selection for this matter is scheduled to begin Monday.

Roof, 22, has been federally indicted on 33 counts related to nine murders in the June 2015 killings, some of those charges drawing on hate crime laws. Authorities stated he walked into a Wednesday night Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and opened fire.

With the shootings, Roof intended to boost racial tensions, according to federal officials. Instead, the shooting left the nation aghast that worshippers were slaughtered in a house of God and touched off questions about "lone wolf" shooters, race relations and the nature of forgiveness, reports USA Today.

South Carolina lawmakers answered by ridding its statehouse grounds of the Confederate flag.

Roof offered to plead guilty to all 33 counts, but federal officials are seeking the death penalty.

"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," the judge wrote in his order, according to Good Morning America.

A psychiatric review of Roof was completed on Nov. 15, the court document said, and a competency hearing was held on Nov. 21 and 22. 

Tags : Charleston Nine, Hate Crimes, Dylann Roof, SC church shootings, church shootings, Judge Richard Gergel, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, racist crimes, racial tensions