Dylann Roof, accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners in a racially motivated attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., is seeking to be tried and, if found guilty, sentenced by the court rather than a jury, Reuters reports.
Roof, attorneys noted in a filing in federal court, would like to waive his right to a jury trial, although attorneys claimed that federal prosecutors would object to the motion.
“Counsel for the government has informed defense counsel that the government will not consent to waive jury at either stage of this case,” the filing by Roof’s attorneys read.
Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Roof in the June 17, 2015, massacre, which occurred during a Bible study at the historic church. He is facing charges on 33 counts, including hate crimes, obstruction of religion and firearms offenses.
Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel set a Nov. 7 federal trial date for Roof.
According to Reuters, the file did not say why Roof wanted to waive a jury trial.
Roof is also facing the death penalty in a separate state trial, which is scheduled to begin in January. In the state case, he faces charges of murder and attempted murder.
With jury selection for the state trial scheduled to start in early December, Reuters notes that proceedings could overlap with the federal trial, which is estimated to last about six weeks.
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