Alleged Charleston church shooter represents himself in court
Dylann Roof is representing himself in his capital murder trial. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel granted the man charged with killing nine black parishioners in a Charleston church in June 2015 the right to do so just before jury selection in his case resumed.
Roof faces 33 federal counts including hate crime charges for the attack on June 17, 2015 at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in downtown Charleston.
Gergel asked the 22-year-old still in a grey and white striped prison jumpsuit a series of questions to ensure he understood what he was doing. Roof gave one word answers to all those questions and assured the judge the decision was voluntary. The defendant is now sitting in the lead counsel chair with his attorneys appointed as stand by counsel.
Gergel had ruled Friday, after a two-day closed door hearing that Roof was competent to stand trial. Attorneys originally representing Roof had raised concerns about his mental state three weeks ago. The details of that hearing and Roof's mental state have not been publicly disclosed.