Home / National News / Dylann Roof Found Competent to Stand Trial for SC Church Slayings


(NEW YORK) — A judge in South Carolina ruled today that accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof is competent to stand trial.

Roof stands charged with the deaths of the “Charleston Nine” — black worshipers who were gunned down at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, during an evening bible study in June 2015.

“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,” Judge Richard Gergel wrote in his order.

 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.

In his order, Gergel said that jury selection in the case would begin on Monday.

The massacre on the evening of June 17, 2015, was quickly characterized as a hate crime by officials. Images and other evidence found online suggest that Roof held white supremacist views, authorities said.

Roof is thought to have spent an hour attending the bible study at Emanuel AME Church with his victims before opening fire, police said at the time.

After the shooting, Roof was quickly identified as the suspect and was apprehended the following morning in North Carolina, after a citizen spotted his car and reported it to police.

Among the victims who were gunned down was the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Emmanuel AME Church’s pastor and a former state senator.

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