Church shooting defendant eases into role as own attorney
The white man prosecutors accuse of gunning down nine black parishioners in a bid to start a race war showed no signs of a racial agenda Tuesday, taking a calm, businesslike approach to selecting a jury that would ultimately decide whether he’s put to death.
A judge ruled this week that Dylann Roof could begin representing himself in his federal trial on dozens of charges — including hate crimes and obstruction of religion — for the June 2015 mass shooting at a South Carolina church.
Against his attorneys’ advice, Roof sought and won the judge’s approval Monday to act as his own attorney. The defendant gave no reason except the constitutional provision governing defendants’ right to a speedy trial.
With his defense attorneys demoted to advisers, Roof eased into the role Tuesday of making arguments before the judge as jury selection got underway.