Charleston Shooting Court Case Intensifies


As Dylann Roof’s defense team continues to make its case, the trial has seemingly slowed up in comparison with last week as the accused killer of 9 people at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in 2015 submits evidence to the court.

On Monday morning, Roof’s defense team filed a motion to submit evidence “relevant to the defendant’s state of mind and personal characteristics,” the Charleston Post and Courier reported on a live blog. But U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel responded that what they were offering was not relevant to the current phase of the proceedings. “This has nothing to do with whether he committed these 33 counts,” said Gergel.

The defense team also argued court papers filed Monday that comments made by a survivor of the shooting could influence other witnesses in the courtroom at the time of her testimony.

Survivor Felecia Sanders, whose son and aunt were killed, testified last week that Roof belonged in “the pit of hell.” The defense argued for a mistrial, contending that the testimony suggested Roof should be given the death penalty. Gergel denied the motion and kept Sanders words in the record.

In other testimony, State Law Enforcement Division crime scene investigator Brittany Burke testified that she found a semiautomatic pistol, ammunition, a laser sight,  receipts for the material, small American and confederate flags and the addresses and phone numbers of several Black churches in the Charleston area including Emanuel A.M.E. in Roof’s car when he was arrested a day after the shooting.