Judge Allows Man Charged in Church Massacre to Represent Himself

Charleston, SC (WLTX)-  A federal judge is allowing Dylann Roof, the man charged with killing nine people at a church in Charleston, to represent himself.

Roof made a motion Monday for the change before the beginning of jury selection. The judge granted the request soon afterward.

Roof's attorneys will sit by him as standby counsel, but Roof will sit in the lead chair. He will also be the one questioning prospective jurors

Roof, 22, is charged with counts including hate crimes and obstruction of religion in the Emanuel AME Church shootings. It's the first of two death penalty trials he faces.

The jury selection process was halted November 7th after Roof's lawyers questioned his ability to understand the case against him. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel's ruling last week cleared the way for Monday's process to begin anew.

Beginning Monday, 516 potential jurors will report to the courthouse to be individually questioned by the judge. When 70 qualified jurors are picked, attorneys can use strikes to dismiss those they don't want.

The final jury will have 12 jurors and six alternatives.

 

KING


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