Roof competency hearing will determine if trial can continue

Dylann Roof
FILE - This June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof. A South Carolina prosecutor said Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, that she will seek the death penalty for Roof, who is charged with killing nine black churchgoers in Charleston. Roof also faces federal charges including hate crimes. Prosecutors in that case have not said if they will pursue the death penalty. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A closed hearing on the competency of Dylann Roof to stand trial in the killing of nine black worshippers at a Charleston, South Carolina, church is planned in federal court.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel recently ruled that Monday’s scheduled hearing would remain closed despite pleas from family members of the slain and arguments from the media that it should be open.

Gergel says he’s concerned anything said at the hearing could be seen by potential jurors and taint their view of the defendant. The hearing’s expected to include extensive statements made by Roof that might not be allowed at his death penalty trial.

Gergel says he’ll issue a ruling on whether the trial can continue later this week in connection with the June 2015 attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s