Lawyers for suspected church shooter, friend to appear in federal court

Lawyers for suspected church shooter, friend to appear in federal court
Joseph Meek (Photo Source: CBS News)
Joseph Meek (Photo Source: CBS News)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Lawyers for the suspected Emanuel AME shooter and his friend are expected in federal court on April 5.

Police say Dylann Roof killed nine people at the church last summer. Joey Meek is facing charges for lying to authorities about Roof's alleged plan.

Roof is facing the death penalty in his state trial scheduled for July.

His federal trial date has not been set, and the feds haven't decided on whether or not to see the death penalty.

In addition to 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.

He 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.

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