Up next for Roof: 2nd trial, long death row wait
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Dylann Roof’s death sentence this week for killing nine black church members ends one chapter in his case, but it’s far from over. Roof has indicated he will appeal his federal punishment and there are nine murder charges looming in state court. Monuments and memorials to those slain at Emanuel AME in June 2015 are also planned.
State prosecutors charged Roof with nine counts of murder and prosecutor Scarlett Wilson declared her intention to seek the death penalty months before federal prosecutors.
But the feds jumped to the front of the line, even after Wilson asked a judge to let her go first.
The state trial was supposed to start Jan. 17, but was indefinitely postponed because of the ongoing federal trial. Wilson hasn’t discussed the case at length in recent months and didn’t return messages this week from The Associated Press.
There will likely be appeals for years to come, in part because Roof was sentenced to die. Immediately after he was sentenced Tuesday, Roof asked for new lawyers to file his paperwork and was denied. He indicated he plans to fight his conviction and has a month to file an appeal.
Roof’s lawyers have consistently pointed out he was willing to plead guilty if the death penalty was taken off the table, which would have severely limited any appeals.
Most family members of victims said they were so wrapped up in the emotionally draining federal trial that they haven’t had any chance to begin thinking about the possibility of another exhausting month or more in a courtroom.
“This has torn me up. I don’t know if I can do it again,” said Melvin Graham, brother of victim Cynthia Hurd.