Charleston Jury: 600 People Summoned


A South Carolina judge has ordered the summoning of 600 people in the trial of a white man accused in the shooting deaths of nine Black churchgoers in Charleston last June.

The state is seeking the death penalty in the trial of 21-year-old Dylann Roof. Roof is facing nine counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and a weapons charge in the shooting that occurred during bible study at Emanuel AME Church.

The trial is set to begin July 11.

Circuit Judge JC Nicholson issued an order for the jury pool of 600 saying it was needed due to the complex nature of the case.

Judge Nicholson also ordered that questionnaires to be used to screen potential jurors remain sealed until they are given to members of the jury pool on June 28.

Members of the pool are expected to report back to the court in groups of 20 to be questioned by attorneys on the first day of the trial.

Attorneys expect the trial to last several weeks.

Roof faces several charges, including hate crimes and obstruction of the practice of religion, in federal court. Prosecutors have not yet disclosed whether the federal government will seek the death penalty.

A hearing on the status of that case will be held next month. Check back for updates.