Judge sets jury selection, trial date in Dylann Roof state trial
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The state trial of the man accused of fatally shooting nine parishioners of a downtown Charleston church will begin in late January, a judge has decided.
Judge J.C. Nicholson set the dates for three rounds of jury selection in the state trial of Dylann Roof in an order Tuesday.
Two hundred potential jurors are set to appear before the court on Jan. 17, 2017. Another set of 200 potential jurors will appear on Jan. 23, and a final set will appear on Jan. 30.
The state trial is then scheduled to begin on or after Jan. 30, according to Nicholson's order.
Roof is charged with nine counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and a weapons charge in the June 17 shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church.
In addition to the state charges, Roof faces 33 federal hate crime and weapons charges, bringing the total number of charges against him to 46. Roof entered a plea of not guilty to the federal charges last July.
In the federal case, Roof faces nine murder counts and three attempted murder counts under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which prohibits using a dangerous weapon to cause bodily injury or attempting to do so based on race or color. He is also charged with nine murders and three attempted murders under a second federal hate crime statute that prohibits the use or threat of force to obstruct any person's free exercise of their religious beliefs. The remaining nine counts are charges of the use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence, the federal indictment states.
Roof's federal trial is set to begin on Nov. 7, 2016.
The shooting claimed the life of Mother Emanuel AME's pastor, State Sen. and the Rev. Clementa Pinckney. In addition to Pinckney, the other victims of the shooting were Tywanza Sanders, the Revs. Sharonda Singleton, DePayne Middleton Doctor, and Daniel Simmons Sr.; and Cynthia Hurd, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lance, and Susie Jackson.
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