Federal judge grants Roof's request for new counsel in appeal
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A judge granted a request for new defense counsel for the man convicted on federal charges in the 2015 Charleston church shooting.
Dylann Roof was sentenced to death in January in connection with the shooting deaths of nine parishioners of Mother Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel granted a motion by Roof to replace his trial attorneys, David Bruck, Kimberly Stevens and Emily Paavola, effective when Roof files a notice of appeal.
The trial attorneys will be replaced by attorneys of the Federal Defender Offices for the Central Districts of California and Maryland, court documents state.
Roof told a court-appointed psychologist during a competency exam he felt his trial attorneys had tricked and manipulated him, adding that if he ever got out of prison, he would kill Bruck, according to a competency evaluation report.
On Wednesday, a court filing indicated Gergel rejected a motion from Roof for a new trial and a judgment of acquittal, calling some of Roof's arguments for the new trial "unpersuasive."
Roof was convicted in December on 33 federal charges in the killings.
Then in April, he agreed to plead guilty to 13 state charges that included nine counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and a weapons charge for life sentences without parole.
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