Judge will choose jurors from the 67 already qualified for Roof Trial, will not wait for 70

Judge will choose jurors from the 67 already qualified for Roof Trial, will not wait for 70

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The judge in the Dylann Roof trial has decided Friday evening to choose jurors from the 67 people they have already qualified.

The court hoped to reach a total jury pool of 70, from which 12 jurors and six alternates would then be selected.

The pretrial conference will be held Monday. The jury selection for 12 jurors and six alternatives will begin Wednesday.

The defense attorneys of the man charged in the shooting deaths of nine at a downtown Charleston church asked the court to stop him from representing himself, earlier today.

In a motion filed Friday, Roof's attorneys, who were reclassified as "standby counsel," said Dylann Roof has no right to represent himself in a capital trial, and especially not in the penalty phase because that is the most complicated proceeding known to criminal law.

Roof faces 33 federal charges in the June 17, 2015, shooting at Mother Emanuel AME church. The shooting left nine parishioners of the church dead, including its pastor, State Sen. and the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

His attorneys believe Roof, whom they describe as an untrained person and a "22-year-old ninth-grade dropout with a GED," is not qualified to represent himself.

Attorneys asked U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel to postpone the start of the trial from Wednesday to Dec. 11, to give the court time to handle previous issues as well as hold a motion hearing on Friday's request. They say that will also give Roof at least two full days to prepare for the start of the trial once jury qualification is complete.

Friday evening, Judge Gergel granted Roof's motion to suppress his jail recording from phone calls and visits.

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