Charleston church shooting trial set to begin next week

Dylann Roof

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A trial has been scheduled to begin next week for the white man charged with the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled Thursday that the federal death penalty trial of Dylann Roof will start next Wednesday in Charleston.

Roof faces dozens of federal charges, including hate crimes, in connection with the June 2015 slayings at Emanuel AME Church. He is representing himself in his federal trial.

Jury selection is ongoing this week with the qualification of a pool of 70 potential jurors. Provided that process wraps up as anticipated on Friday, Gergel says he’ll hold a pretrial conference on Monday. The seating of a final jury of 12 members and six alternates is slated to happen on Wednesday.

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