Prosecutors want harsher sentence for Roof's friend who failed to report plot

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Federal prosecutors want a harsher sentence for a friend of Dylann Roof's who knew about Roof's plan to attack Mother Emanuel AME and lied to authorities about it.

Joey Meek is charged with misprision of a felony and making a false statement, and pleaded guilty. Both charges carry a sentence of eight years total.

But, prosecutors want Meek to be punished more harshly in part because of how horrible the crime was.

In the motion filed on Monday, prosecutors said they will ask the court to consider a tougher sentence citing that Meek's punishment reflect the seriousness of his crime.

Prosecutors say the court should take into account the "horrific nature" of Roof's actions, killing nine people at the downtown Charleston church in 2015.

Federal authorities say Meek was told specific details by Roof about the attack well before the shootings happened on June 17, 2015.

"While Meek was not legally required to notify authorities, the Court should take into account in arriving at the appropriate sentence that Meek failed to notify authorities and, as a result, law enforcement was deprived opportunity to take action to prevent Roof's attack," the motion stated.

According to federal authorities, after Meek learned that others had, over his objection, called police, Meek lied to the agents about his knowledge of Roof's plot at the Mother Emmanuel AME church.

Meek is expected to be sentenced this Thursday.

Federal authorities anticipate that some family members may wish to speak about their desire for a substantial sentence for Meek.

Roof was sentenced to death in January.

Meek was expected to testify in Roof's trial, but was not called.

Investigators say Meek and Roof had been hanging out together days before the shooting.

According to prosecutors, a week before the church shootings, Roof told Meek he planned for six months to kill people at an AME church in Charleston to start a race war because no one else would.

Prosecutors also said Roof told Meek he planned to kill himself after carrying out the killings.

Authorities say Meek told some friends about Roof's alleged plot and told them not to report it to authorities.

Prosecutors said when one of those friends called the FBI tip line, Meek then told the FBI what he knew.

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