CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The fate of the man accused of shooting nine parishioners of a downtown Church last summer will be decided by a jury, a federal judge decided Monday.
Judge Richard M. Gergel rejected a request from Dylann Roof, who is accused in the June 17, 2015 shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church, to have the judge decide whether Roof is guilty and what the sentence would be.
Roof's defense team submitted that motion on Thursday. In a response, federal prosecutor opposed that motion.
"The Government advises the Court that it does not consent and, instead, respectfully requests that a jury determine the Defendant's guilt and appropriate punishment," U.S. Attorney William Nettles wrote in response to the motion.
Roof faces 33 federal counts including hate crime charges.
The federal trial is scheduled to start with jury selection on Nov. 7.