Charleston church killer Dylann Roof gets legal setback  

Dylann Roof mugshot
Dylann Roof mugshot (Photo Source: Charleston, SC Police)

The trial of Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof is set to go forward despite a legal maneuver by the avowed racist. Roof’s legal team attempted to have him declared mentally incompetent to stand trial for the killing of nine parishioners at Mother Emmanuel AME last year. His lawyers contended that Roof did not understand the charges against him. This legal maneuver delayed prosecutors seeking to seat a jury in his case, which has a jury pool of 3K. Roof is charged in federal court with a hate crime, obstruction of religion and other counts for the deadly June 2015 massacre. He admitted to the crime after his arrest and officers treated him to a meal at Burger King because he was hungry.

Roof was examined in a two-day competency hearing behind closed doors along with unnamed witnesses and a psychologist. The results of his hearing were presented to Judge Richard Gergel who made a ruling today that Roof is competent to stand trial for the killings. Evidence presented in the case of Roof include pictures of him with Confederate flags and a ranting, racist manifesto on the internet calling for a new civil war in America before staging the massacre. A portion of his manifesto states, “We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”

His roommate is also quoted as saying that Roof made frequent racist comments that included saying that Black people were “taking over the world” and said someone had to do something about it for the sake of “the White race.”  Roof remained remorseless after the killing and may face the death penalty for his crimes.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.



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