Shooter to represent himself
A US federal judge granted selfdescribed white supremacist Dylann Roof’s request to represent himself at trial on charges of gunning down nine African American churchgoers last year in South Carolina.
US district judge Richard Gergel’s ruling means that Roof, 22, could cross-examine survivors and family members of those he mowed down in June 2015 during a Bible study class at the historic “Mother Emmanuel” black church in Charleston.
Prosecutors are seeking to put Mr Roof to death, and have refused to accept his offer to plead guilty to the 33 federal charges against him – including hate crime violations that could carry the death penalty – in exchange for a life sentence.
Mr Roof is also facing state murder charges in South Carolina and faces the death penalty for his allegedly racially-motivated attack.
The case got under way earlier this month, but had to be postponed while the court determined whether Mr Roof was mentally competent to stand trial. –