By Frederick H. Low
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from TheNorthStarNewsToday.com
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – A federal grand jury on Thursday convicted Dylann Roof of murdering nine Black churchgoers last year who were attending a Bible study at the historic Emanuel A.M. E. Church in downtown Charleston, S.C.
The 12-member jury deliberated two hours before finding Roof, 22, guilty on all counts although he had admitted to the murders. He faces either life in prison or execution.
Federal prosecutors charged Roof with the Hate Crimes Act Resulting in Death, the Hate Crimes Act Involving an Attempt to Kill, Obstruction of Exercise of Religion Resulting in Death, Obstruction of Exercise of Religion Involving an Attempt to Kill and Use of a Dangerous Weapon and Use of a Firearm to Commit Murder During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, according to the 15-page indictment. Roof pled not guilty.
In addition, he faces state murder charges bought by South Carolina, which is also seeking the death penalty. That trial is scheduled to begin in January.
Roof sat for an hour with Emanuel parishioners on June 17, 2015, before firing his gun, a Glock .45-caliber pistol.
Roof, 22, said he killed the churchgoers to incite a race war. The pistol was loaded with eight magazines of hollow-point bullets.