Home / National News / Dylann Roof Found Guilty on All 33 Counts in Federal Trial

 

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — Dylann Roof has been found guilty on all 33 counts in the federal trial in connection with the June 2015 shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

He showed no emotion as the verdict was read.

Roof, who is white, was accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners during a Bible study at the predominantly black Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015. According to the federal indictment against him, Roof, 22, entered the church armed and “with the intent of killing African-Americans engaged in the exercise of their religious beliefs.”

The 33 federal counts against Roof included hate crimes resulting in death and obstruction of exercise of religion resulting in death.

The trial next moves into the sentencing phase, in which the same jury will determine whether or not Roof will be sentenced to death or life in prison. That will begin on Jan. 3.

After the reading of the verdict, the judge explained to Roof the gravity of the sentencing phase, asking him whether he wants to reconsider representing himself during this phase.

Roof told the judge that he understood and that he plans to self-represent in the sentencing phase. The judge said that he will give Roof until Jan. 3 to reconsider, but once the sentencing phase begins, the decision to represent himself holds.

In a statement, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said, “It is my hope that the survivors, the families, and the people of South Carolina can find some peace in the fact that justice has been served.”

Roof also faces a state trial, set for early next year, in which he may also face the death penalty.

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