Friend of Charleston Shooter Pleads Guilty


The friend of the man accused of fatally wounding nine people in a historically Black church in Charleston, S.C. last year has pleaded guilty to failing to report a crime and lying to federal investigators.

Attorney Deborah Barbier, who is representing 21-year-old Joey Meek, spoke on his behalf in court saying:

“Mr. Meek is very young; he has a limited education. When these unspeakable acts were committed, he was very scared. He was in shock. And today Mr. Meek made no excuses for his conduct.”

Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, opened fire at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015. He could get the death penalty for nine counts of murder in state court, NPR reports. Federal charges against Roof include hate crimes.

Roof’s state trial is slated to begin in January, and Meek could be a key witness.

The Charleston Post and Courier reported that Meek “admitted that Roof told him he planned for months to shoot people at a Charleston Bible study on a Wednesday night and had visited an AME Church before the June 17 massacre at Emanuel AME. Roof planned to use a fanny pack to conceal the gun and ammunition. He also told Meek that he planned to kill himself.”

Meek denied knowing any details about the plan when he spoke to an FBI agent the day after the attack. Meek could get up to eight years in prison if convicted.