Dylann Roof pleads guilty to state charges in church massacre

Caroline Beck
April 15, 2017

Roof testified in federal court that "I felt like I had to do it, and I still feel like I had to do it".

The behind-the-scenes struggle between Roof and his lawyers - led by David Bruck, one of the nation's foremost anti-death penalty lawyers - began in late October or early November, just as Roof's death penalty trial was about to begin.

"Dylann is not all bad", said Joe Roof. He said "nothing is 'all bad, ' and Dylann is not all bad". "They have regularly told me in an aggressive manner that I have no say in my own defense, that my input doesn't matter, and that there is nothing I can do about it". "I will go to my grave not understanding what happened other than I lost the grandson that I love and likely today is the last time that I will see him". "Even if I got shot, I just didn't want my granddaughter to get shot".

Roof claimed his attorneys "purposely kept me in the dark about my defense until the last minute" in an attempt to prevent him from being able to do anything about it, which he says is why he made a decision to send the note to the prosecution. Clementa Pinckney, brought some jurors to tears with her description of how she shielded her young daughter in her husband's office as the bullets rang out in the nearby fellowship hall.

The families of what have become known as the Emanuel Nine have been widely lauded for their willingness to forgive in the face of sorrow but also, in embrace of their strong faith, to pray the man who drastically altered their lives would find peace himself. "We are glad this saga is over", said Cynthia Hurd's brother Melvin Graham.

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Judge Nicholson then said he was aware of Dylann Roof's history of mental illness and substance abuse because of documents entered during the federal competency hearing.

"Guilty", Roof said. He declined a later opportunity to address the court, after friends and family members of his victims spoke. Gergel was citing a court-appointed psychiatrist in his ruling that Roof was fit to stand trial.

In June 2015, Roof opened fire on the members of the church after they welcomed him into their circle with open arms and allowed him to sit next to the pastor.

Roof was convicted of 33 federal charges past year and sentenced to death. Authorities said that before the attack, he posted a racist manifesto online filled with racial and anti-Semitic diatribes. They were rejected as state lawmakers voted to remove from the State House grounds the Confederate flag prominent in so many of Roof's self-posted photos. Roof had hoped the massacre would "start a race war", he told the police.

"Dylann Roof's mission was an epic, epic failure", Wilson said.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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