No death penalty decision, trial date in Dylann Roof’s federal case

Dylann Roof
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)

(WCBD) — There is still no decision on whether the federal government will seek the death penalty against accused Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof.

While Roof himself was not present, his attorneys along with federal prosecutors appeared at a hearing in Judge Richard Gergel’s courtroom this morning. The government told the judge the paperwork to seek the death penalty is on Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s desk, but she has not signed it yet. Judge Gergel told prosecutors she needs to make a decision as soon as possible and that his patience is wearing thin. He then granted the government’s request for another continuance without setting a trial date.

Roof faces dozens of charges, including hate crimes, in the murders of nine people last June during a bible study at Mother Emanuel. Roof is scheduled to stand trial on state charges July 11th and 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson is seeking the death penalty in that case.

Also in court this morning, Roof’s friend, Joey Meek, who is accused of withholding information about Roof’s violent plans from authorities. Meek’s attorneys, as well as federal prosecutors, told the judge they would be ready to go to trial as early as June and that it would last about two weeks. However, Judge Gergel did not set a trial date at this morning’s hearing.

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