Judge Is Deliberating Over Accused SC Church Shooter’s Competency to Stand Trial 

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said last week that he expected that he and his staff would be working through the Thanksgiving holidays to prepare an order on accused Charleston, S.C., church shooter Dylann Roof’s competency. 

Dylann Roof, charged in the June 2015 massacre of black worshippers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., makes an appearance at Centralized Bond Hearing Court on June 19, 2015, in North Charleston. GRACE BEAHM-POOL/GETTY IMAGES

A judge has begun deliberating whether Dylann Roof, the accused shooter at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.,, is competent to stand trial following a second day of a closed-door hearing, the Greenville News reports.

The hearing on Roof’s competency started Monday afternoon and extended into Tuesday afternoon, with the federal court then sending out a brief statement confirming that the hearing had concluded, although no decision had yet been reached.

According to the report, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel had said last week that he expected that he and his staff would be working through the Thanksgiving holidays to prepare an order on Roof’s competency. Gergel added that if he found Roof competent, he would want to resume jury selection, which was put on hold, Monday.

Gergel had ordered the competency hearing closed last week after ruling that an open hearing would threaten Roof’s right to a fair trial.

Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the 22-year-old, who faces 33 federal charges in connection with the mass shooting that killed nine black parishioners at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in June 2015.

Read more at USA Today.

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