Dylann Roof to appeal death sentence

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)
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)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A white supremacist sentenced to death for killing nine worshippers in a racist attack at a Charleston church has petitioned an appeals court for mercy.

Attorneys for Dylann Roof filed notice Tuesday they were appealing his conviction and sentence to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Earlier this month, the federal judge who presided over Roof’s trial rejected his first appeal, ruling the conviction and death sentence for the June 2015 massacre at Emanuel AME church should stand.

Roof argued his crime didn’t fit the definition of interstate commerce needed for a federal case. The judge ruled Roof used a telephone to call the church and the bullets and gun were manufactured in a different state.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

5/23/2017 11:38:07 AM (GMT -4:00)

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