Dylann Roof Convicted of Murdering 9 Black Charleston Churchgoers1 month, 22 days ago
A jury took two hours to find him guilty of one of the most notorious crimes in modern American history. Now he faces life in prison or execution.”>
CHARLESTON, South Carolina Dylann Roof was convicted of one of Americas most notorious crimes on Thursday, found guilty of perpetrating a massacre of nine black worshipers who had welcomed him into the cellar of Emanuel A.M.E. Church.
Among a slew of mass killings in recent years, the bloodbath during a Bible study was notable for its decided; the brutal, racially motivated killings passed abruptly within the hallowed walls of a historic, black Southern church. The crime was also notable for the contrast between the starkly racist views of its perpetrator and the kindness of his victims, who had offered Roof a chair and Bible as they began a weekly discussion on June 17, 2015.
Roof joined different groups that warm evening for nearly an hour, laughing along with his hosts, all while he concealed a handgun and publications of bullets in a pack around his waist. When the worshipers stood to pray, closing their eyes, Roof took the opportunity to open fire, quickly killing the majority of occupants in the room, starting with the pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who sat beside him. Three people survived, including one female, Felicia Sanders, who described Roof as evil, evil evil as can be in witnes last week.
There is no place on Earth for him except the pit of hell, testified Sanders, who watched Roof murder her 26 -year-old son, Tywanza Sanders, and eight others.
Jurors deliberated for two hours before convicting Roof of 33 charges, which included pistol crimes, religion blockage crimes, and hate crimes. They will return to court in January to decide upon a punishment of life imprisonment or the death penalty. Roof, who stared ahead blankly throughout the entire trial, has elected to serve as his own attorney during this sentencing phase on January 3.
During closing debates Thursday morning at the Charleston Federal Courthouse, Roofs attorney David Bruck conceded his client shot and killed nine people for racially motivated reasons, but asked jurors to go beyond the grisly facts of the case and deem why Roof assaulted the unsuspecting worshipers.
“There is something wrong with his perception, said Bruck during closing debates Thursday morning at the Charleston Federal Courthouse. “Look past the surface of things.
When Roof detected white supremacist ideology and conspiracy theories online, Bruck said, his client received a sorcery decoder ring that resolved the mysteries of the world.
He described Roof as a 22 -year-old loner with no best friend. He is so detached he is unable to make small talk, said Bruck, who then drew the jurys attention to photo introduced during trial, some of which featured Roof holding a handgun, posing with a Confederate flag or burning the American flag.
“None of the( photos) have a friend. None of them have another person, said Bruck. He was so alone except there were hundreds of pictures of his cat
Does this make sense? said Bruck. Or is there something more?
Federal prosecutors countered that such arguments were mere distractions from the brutal slayings of victims that ranged in age from 26 to 87 , noting how the eldest of child victims, who walked with a cane, was shot at least ten times.
Time and time again, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams spoke fiercely of the vastness of hatred contained within Roof, who published a racist manifesto and scribbled other racist writings that conveyed sentiments like Negroes have lower IQs and segregation was not a bad thing.
Williams said the evidence showed Roof preyed on the most vulnerable type of people, choosing a massacre site that featured friendly strangers with no protection.
[ Roof is] a man of immense hatred who walked that room shooting person after person after person, stopping so he could only load a publication and kill more people, said Williams.[ He is] a person of tremendous cowardice, shooting people when they had their eyes closed, when they were in prayer, when they were wounded, when they were on the ground