BREAKING: Dylann Roof Found Guilty of Charleston Church Massacre

By Sameer Rao Dec 15, 2016

Jurors in Charleston, South Carolina, found Dylann Roof guilty this afternoon (December 15) of all charges for killing nine Black parishioners at the city’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last year. 

Roof, who demonstrated White supremacist beliefs, faced 33 federal charges, including hate crimes and weapons offenses. Charleston’s The Post and Courier reports that the three Black and nine White federal jurors deliberated for two hours before delivering guilty verdicts for each charge. About 50 survivors and family members of those murdered sat in the courtroom as the jury foreman read the verdict. 

CNN reports that jurors asked to re-watch video of Roof’s confession to FBI agents during today’s deliberations. They were particularly interested in a part where he wasn’t sure how many people he killed. They heard arguments and testimony over the last week, including a witness whose son was killed. The jurors also watched video of Roof laughing after he admitted to the massacre. Roof did not testify.

Roof’s trial saw several unusual turns, including unexpected jury selection delay and Roof’s request to represent himself. NPR reported that jurors will reconvene on January 3 for the penalty phase of the trial, during which they’ll decide whether to sentence Roof to the death penalty or life in prison.

Roof still faces state murder charges. That trial starts January 17.