Dylann Roof Determined Fit to Stand Trial for Charleston, SC, Church Massacre

Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of the 22-year-old suspected of killing nine black parishioners during a Bible study last year.

Dylann Roof at Centralized Bond Hearing Court on June 19, 2015, in North Charleston, S.C. Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images

A court in South Carolina ruled today that shooting suspect Dylann Roof is fit to stand trial for the deaths of nine black parishioners at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., last year.

As The Root reported earlier this month, a federal judge acknowledged that he had ordered an evaluation regarding whether 22-year-old Dylann Roof, charged in the shooting deaths of the nine black churchgoers on June 17, 2015, was competent to stand trial.

CNN reports that U.S. District Judge Richard Mark Gergel ruled that Roof is, in fact, competent enough to stand trial, but the judge is sealing a document detailing the factual reasons behind his finding. Public disclosure could put Roof’s right to a fair trial in jeopardy, he said.

The outlet notes that a psychiatrist examined Roof earlier this month, and witnesses testified about the matter in a hearing this week.

Jury selection in the federal trial is scheduled to resume Monday, Gergel said.

Roof currently faces 33 federal counts of hate crimes, obstruction of religion and using a firearm in a violent crime. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Roof also faces death in a state murder trial that is scheduled to begin in January.

Read more at CNN.

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