Court: No decision in Dylann Roof competency hearing

Court: No decision in Dylann Roof competency hearing
Dylann Roof.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - No decision was given on Monday in the competency trial for the man charged in the shooting deaths of nine parishioners at a downtown Charleston church.

A release from the U.S. District Court Monday says the hearing will continue on Tuesday which will be closed to the public and media.

A psychologist was scheduled to report on whether Dylann Roof is competent enough to stand trial for the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015. 

"Seventy-seven shots. It actually sounded like a transformer blew," survivor Felicia Sanders said.

Investigators say prior to leaving the bible study room, Roof, from Eastover, stood over a victim and uttered "a racially inflammatory statement."

Despite First Amendment objections from the media, the hearing is being kept private.

In an order issued on Nov. 16, Judge Richard Gergel said Roof's Sixth Amendment rights to a fair trial and a fair and impartial jury require the closure of the competency hearing. That was the date jury selection was slated to resume after a last-minute motion delayed it for over a week; jury selection will now resume on Nov. 28, he said.

Jury selection began on Nov. 7, but was immediately interrupted when Gergel said a last-minute motion required his immediate attention. A closed-door hearing was scheduled for later that day with jury selection set to resume two days later. The following day, the judge ordered jury selection postponed while Roof underwent a competency evaluation.

One of the nine people killed that night was the church's pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney.

The other victims were identified as Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. Depayne Middleton Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Dr. Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton and Myra Thompson.

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