In newly-unsealed motion, Roof asked for protective order to shield confidential info

In newly-unsealed motion, Roof asked for protective order to shield confidential info
Dylann Roof made his own closing argument to the jury. (Sketch: Robert Maniscalco)
Dylann Roof arrives at the detention center following the sentencing hearing. (Source: Live 5 News)
Dylann Roof arrives at the detention center following the sentencing hearing. (Source: Live 5 News)
Source: Live 5 News
Source: Live 5 News

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - In a newly-unsealed court document in the trial of the convicted Charleston church shooter, the defense requested a protective order to prevent confidential information from reaching prosecutors.

The motion from attorneys for Dylann Roof, who was formally sentenced to death on Jan. 11 after being found guilty of 33 federal charges, is one of numerous documents that are being unsealed by U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel.

The motion requested the protective order to prevent prosecutors and all law enforcement agencies from using "defense confidential materials and information such as visitors' log-in sheets" and defense-related and personal documents that either had been or would be created while Roof was being held in the Al Cannon Detention Center.

The motion argued state and federal prosecutors "enlisted the Detention Center staff as participants in the investigation and gathering of evidence against him." Attorneys said normal jail policy has the lobby staff review all mail that comes to and from inmates, but claimed Roof's incoming and outgoing mail was being screened and copied by the Intelligence Unit at the detention center, then forwarded to investigators working the criminal case against him.

"This departure from normal policy was not disclosed to the defendant or to his attorneys until more than two months after his arrest," the motion states.

Attorneys also claimed Roof's cell was searched and that "private, attorney-client privileged documents and all of his outgoing and incoming mail have been seized, copied and provided to the government."

The motion states federal prosecutors subpoenaed the inmate's visitor's log, a copy of concessions and/or canteen account to show the names, addresses, and contribution amounts for anyone who added money to the account; a copy of Roof's mail log, copies of documents seized by the detention center's policies and any reports generated from the seizure of those documents.

Roof's attorneys asked the judge to prevent the detention center from providing prosecutors and law enforcement agencies with copies of any materials in the visitor's log or any other material identifying visitors. They also asked that any prosecutors or investigative agencies that already have copies of the information should be required to purge it from their files and be barred from using that information during the trial.

Additional documents have not yet been released, though an order issued earlier in the day indicated nearly 200 documents would be unsealed. The court gave both sides a March 27 deadline to submit arguments about whether other documents should be unsealed entirely, redacted or remain under seal.

The order also stated content in other documents would be removed prior to release.

A crime scene panorama, which prosecutors wanted to remain sealed, was unsealed by the court order, which stated the "depiction of victims may be redacted while preserving all information relevant to the exhibit's purpose."

Roof was convicted of the charges in December and formally sentenced to death on Jan. 11 for the June 17, 2015, shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.