Dylann Roof, the man accused of shooting up a South Carolina church and killing nine people, was officially indicted on 33 federal counts, which include some charges that could result in the death penalty, on July 22.
Already facing nine murder charges in state court, Dylann Roof, 21, was indicted on 33 federal counts on July 22, just over a month after he opened fire in a Charleston, South Carolina church and killed nine people. Because South Carolina does not have hate crime laws, and the massacre was racially charged, the federal government was forced to get involved.
Dylann unleashed his attack on the Emanuel A.M.E Church on June 17 during a Bible study group. “You are raping our women and taking over our country,” he said to the victims, who were all black. Later, police linked him to a racist Internet manifesto, which read, “I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is the most historic city in my state, and at one time, had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the Internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”
One of Roof’s charges includes killing someone while obstructing religious freedom, and that makes him eligible for the death penalty. However, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that “no decision has been made whether to seek that penalty” so far.
As of now, Dylann’s tentative trial date is set for July 11, 2016, and he is being held without bail. Our thoughts continue to remain with all the victims of this violent attack, as well as all of their family members.
— Alyssa Norwin