Judge orders evaluation of Dylann Roof before sentencing

Dylann Roof

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A judge has ordered another competency exam for Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, who faces the death penalty for killing nine black parishioners last year.

Federal Judge Richard Gergel ordered another evaluation of Roof “in an abundance of caution.” But the judge said Thursday that he finds no reason to delay or cancel the trial’s sentencing phase, set to begin Tuesday. Roof, who is white, intends to represent himself.

A jury found Roof guilty Dec. 15 on 33 counts, including hate crimes and obstruction of religion.

Gergel’s order says Roof will be evaluated over the weekend at the Charleston County jail.

The judge says he will rule on Roof’s competency Monday, following a hearing. He’s again considering closing the hearing, as he has before over the prosecution’s objections.

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