November Trial Set for Charleston Shooter


A federal judge says jurors will be picked this fall in the trial of a white man accused of killing nine members of a historic black Charleston, South Carolina, church.

Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Tuesday set Nov. 7 as the day to begin selecting jurors for the federal trial of Dylann Roof. His trial could start about two weeks later.

Roof faces numerous federal counts, including hate crimes, in the June 17 shootings at Emanuel AME Church. During Bible study that evening, Roof was welcomed into the sanctuary and sat with the members of the congregation for at least an hour before killing them in cold blood.

Investigators found anti-Black sentiments linked to Roof, and a friend of his admitted to being told about the planned attack.

Defense attorneys and federal prosecutors said they felt they had enough time to prepare their case. The trial is estimated to last up to six weeks.

Roof’s state trial on murder charges is scheduled for January. Last month, prosecutors in both jurisdictions announced plans to seek the death penalty.