Accused church shooter wants to know framework of govt case
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The white man accused of gunning down nine black people at a South Carolina church wants to know how the federal government plans to lay out any evidence against him.
Attorneys for Dylann Roof filed motions in federal court Monday seeking access to any statements their client has made to authorities since his arrest. In what are essentially routine filings, they also asked for any physical evidence collected in the case against their client and summaries of any proposed expert witnesses expected to testify on behalf of the government.
Roof, 21, faces dozens of federal charges including hate crimes and obstruction of the practice of religion related to the June 17 killings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
He also faces murder, attempted murder and weapons charges in state court, and prosecutors in both jurisdictions have not yet said if they will seek the death penalty.
Roof, who has entered no plea in state court, formally pleaded not guilty last week to the federal charges. During a brief hearing, his attorneys in that case said their client wants to plead guilty but that they couldn’t advise him to do so until federal prosecutors announced their decision on possibly pursuing the death penalty.
There is no set deadline by which prosecutors must announce their intent.
Federal attorneys have until August 20 to file motions in that case, and no trial date has been set. Roof’s trial on the state charges against him has been tentatively set for July 11, 2016.
Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP