Published: Thu, December 29, 2016
National | By Miranda Cannon

Dylann Roof: Charleston shooter won't offer evidence to spare life

Dylann Roof, a white supremacist found guilty of murdering nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., told the judge he will not be presenting any evidence or calling witnesses to try to prevent a death sentence, the The Associated Press said Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Gergel gave Roof a note of caution regarding his intentions to self-represent.

Roof's lawyers say they think he got rid of them because they wanted to present what Roof thought was embarrassing evidence seeking to get the same jury to spare his life.

Dylann Roof, 22, also confirmed that he intends to represent himself during the stage in which the jury in the SC court will decide whether to execute him or imprison him for life.

"I was just saying that for the prosecution", Roof said.

At the request of his attorneys, Roof in November underwent a closed competency hearing to determine whether he was capable of moving forward with the trial, one which included testimony from several mental health experts.

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His lawyers did not deny that he carried out the June 2015 massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church after taking part in an evening Bible study class.

Roof appeared at the hearing in his striped gray jail jumpsuit, handcuffed and shackled at the ankles.

"You know my feeling on this", Gergel said.

Gergel, while finding Roof competent to serve as his own lawyer, repeatedly has urged Roof to reinstate his defense team and again asked that he reconsider his "bad decision" to represent himself.

Following those proceedings, Gergel determined Roof could represent himself, but the evidence that was presented has not been disclosed. The government plans to call more than 30 witnesses - mostly survivors and victims' family members - to testify in the sentencing phase. Roof agreed to do so.

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