Bond set for friend of accused church shooter on charges of lying to investigators

VIDEO: Judge may have final say on whether friend of suspected Charleston church shooter can bond out of jail

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC/WIS) - The man accused of lying to federal authorities and concealing information about the suspect in the Charleston church shooting is in jail with bond set at $100,000 after he entered a not guilty plea.

Joey Meek, 21, appeared before a federal magistrate in Columbia on Friday and entered a not guilty plea on charges of lying to authorities and concealing information about Dylann Roof, who is accused of killing nine people at a historic black church in Charleston June 17.

But Meek has not submitted to a pretrial interview yet, which normally determines if a defendant is a flight risk or a danger. According to the federal probation office, Meek's ability to bond out even if he posts bail may be at Judge Shiva Hodges' discretion.

The arraignment lasted less than 30 minutes, with Meek formally indicted with one misprision of justice charge and one charge of giving false information.

The indictment alleges Meek is guilty of "misprision of a felony" in that he concealed "knowledge of the actual commission of a felony" and "did not, as soon as possible, make known the same to some judge or other person in civil authority under the United States." It also alleges he "made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations."

Meek is also accused of lying to an FBI agent when he said he "did not know specifics of Roof's plan to shoot individuals on a Wednesday, during Bible Study, at an AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina." Prosecutors say Meek knew his statements denying such specifics were false when he made them.

Meek was quiet in the courtroom during the arraignment and neither his family nor his attorney spoke after the hearing.

Meek faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison if convicted, which would include up to five years for lying to investigators and up to three years for concealing information. Fines also are possible.

Meek was arrested Thursday, weeks after authorities told him that he was under investigation. Meek says Roof stayed with him in Lexington County before the shootings.
The Associated Press says Meek told them Roof drunkenly complained that blacks "were taking over the world" before the shooting, and "someone needed to do something about it for the white race."

Meek's girlfriend says he's innocent. It's not clear whether he has an attorney yet.

Meanwhile, the attorney for the  Emanuel 9 families says they  are grateful  federal investigators are pursuing the case.
Copyright WCSC/WIS 2015. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.