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Roof likely won't call witnesses in sentencing phase of federal - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Roof likely won't call witnesses in sentencing phase of federal trial

Source: Live 5 News Source: Live 5 News
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

The man convicted of the July 2015 Charleston church shooting told a federal judge he still intends to represent himself during the sentencing phase of his trial and does not plan to call witnesses.

Dylann Roof, 22, will face the same jury that convicted him weeks ago on Tuesday as jurors will be tasked with deciding whether Roof should receive a penalty of life in prison without parole or death.

Roof told U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel at a pre-sentencing hearing Wednesday he understands the requirements and fully intends to represent himself during the sentencing phase. Roof also said he does not plan to call any witnesses or submit evidence.

Roof appeared in court Wednesday morning wearing his jail jumpsuit, handcuffs and ankle shackles.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, told the court they plan to call more than 30 witnesses related to the nine victims along with expert witnesses who testified during the guilt phase.

Roof will have the right to cross-examine those witnesses, something the prosecution is concerned about. However, Roof has not said whether he plans to cross-examine any of those witnesses.

The hearing lasted just 30 minutes.

Earlier this month, a jury took less than two hours to find Roof guilty on 33 federal charges including hate crimes in the massacre. Family members of victims held hands, squeezed each other's arms and nodded as each of the verdicts were read. 

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