11:39 AM — There is still no decision on whether the federal government will seek the death penalty against accused Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof.
Officials say the government told the judge the paperwork to seek the death penalty is on Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s desk, but she has not signed it yet. Judge Gergel told prosecutors Lynch needs to make a decision as soon as possible and that his patience is wearing thin. Reporters say Judge Gergel then granted the government’s request for another continuance without setting a trial date.
CHARLESTON, SC — A federal hearing is set for 10:00 AM on Tuesday, April 5 for admitted Charleston Church shooter Dylann Roof.
Attorneys say the federal government could announce at the hearing whether they will seek the death penalty in this case. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel will discuss with attorneys the status of the cases against both Dylann Roof and Joey Meek.
Former South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon says it is highly unusual for a case to be tried on both the state and federal levels.
Here in South Carolina, in Charleston, we have this unusual situation where both systems are contemplating active capital cases which, of course, are time consuming and very expensive. And I believe the reason it’s happened this way is because of the gravity of the crime, alleged crimes. You’ve got 9 folks killed at a church service and it’s got a clear racial motivation.”
-Former South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon
Roof waived his right to appear at Tuesday’s hearing.
Roof faces nine counts of murder in state court and is charged with hate crimes and other counts in federal court. Dlyann Roof admits to shooting nine black churchgoers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.
His friend, Joey Meek, also has a federal hearing today. He is charged with withholding information about Roof’s plot from investigators.
No date for either trial is set.