CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The number of potential jurors in the Charleston church shooting trial is expected to reach 600, according to a circuit court order issued Wednesday.
Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson's order established the size of the jury pool in the trial of Dylann Roof, who is charged with nine counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and a weapons charge in the June 17 shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church.
MOBILE USERS: Click here for additional photos from the shooting scene.
The order instructs the clerk of court to draw the 600 potential jurors, who then must report on June 28 for general qualification and the completion of jury questionnaires. Jurors will then be provided a time to report back for interviews by attorneys for jury selection in groups of 20 beginning on July 11.
The jury questionnaires will be sealed, the order states.
A second order sets a timeline leading up to jury selection:
- By Feb. 15, attorneys must submit requests to add or strike questions from jury questionnaires along with explanations for their requests.
- By Feb. 17, all motions pertaining to jury questionnaires must be filed with the clerk of court.
- During the week of Feb. 28, a hearing may be held regarding the questionnaires.
- On June 13, a hearing may be held if either side requests it regarding a list of jurors who may be excused in compliance with statutory requirements.
- By June 14, all pretrial motions must be filed.
- Between June 28-30, hearings on those motions will be set.
In addition to the state charges, Roof faces 33 federal hate crime and weapons charges, bringing the total number of charges against him to 46. Roof entered a plea of not guilty to the federal charges last July.
Roof faces nine murder counts and three attempted murder counts under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which prohibits using a dangerous weapon to cause bodily injury or attempting to do so based on race or color, she said.
He is also charged with nine murders and three attempted murders under a second federal hate crime statute that prohibits the use or threat of force to obstruct any person's free exercise of their religious beliefs.
The remaining nine counts are charges of the use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence, the federal indictment states.
The shooting claimed the life of Mother Emanuel AME's pastor, State Sen. and the Rev. Clementa Pinckney. In addition to Pinckney, the other victims of the shooting were Tywanza Sanders, the Revs. Sharonda Singleton, DePayne Middleton Doctor, and Daniel Simmons Sr.; and Cynthia Hurd, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lance, and Susie Jackson.