CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Six weeks after Dylann Roof's first competency hearing, the convicted Mother Emanuel AME church shooter will once again undergo a mental health evaluation.
A court order filed Thursday by Judge Richard Gergel states, "in an abundance of caution" the court will hold another competency hearing for the penalty phase of the trial.
"The judge is trying to protect the record for appellate purposes to make sure this is not done again," said Professor Miller Shealy, of the Charleston School of Law.
Shealy said he's not surprised a motion like this was filed following the pre-sentencing conference Wednesday.
In court Dylann Roof, once again, reiterated his intention to act as his own attorney.
"The defense attorneys probably have a good idea of some of the things he's going to say and do and they're terrified of it," Shealy said. "They're terrified for Dylann Roof's sake."
Shealy feels the motion from Roof's standby counsel is a last minute effort to get Roof to realize what kind of consequences could happen if he continues to represent himself.
Roof has said he doesn't plan on calling any witnesses or submitting any evidence.
"If he doesn't do that it's hard to see how he can avoid a death penalty verdict at the end of this next proceeding," Shealy said.
ked about the relationship between Roof and his standby counsel, Shealy feels it's not a good one.
"Or else he wouldn't be trying to relieve them, or they wouldn't be trying to file their own motion for his competency over his objection," he added.
Roof objected to the first competency hearing in November, stating he was not mentally ill.
No word on whether he will do so for the second evaluation.
"He's an ideological killer," Shealy said. "He did this for a reason. He doesn't want to end up at the end of the day, even if he's on death row, having people look at him like he's mentally ill or mentally infirm in some way. In some bizarre twisted way he's a hero in his own mind, and I think he doesn't want to be presented in any other way."
Shealy added the trial so far has been very clean, without any errors.
"The judge has been very careful, the prosecutors haven't been overbearing, and certainly the defense attorneys have been there making each and every motion," he said.
The order also stated at this time there are no plans to cancel or delay sentencing, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday.