The friend of white supremacist Dylann Roof who admitted to lying to the FBI and hiding knowledge of the massacre carried out against a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in federal prison.
According to Reuters, Joey Meek confessed to authorities that Roof, his childhood friend, had spoken about his plot to start a race war by killing black people at a church during an alcohol- and drug-fueled night about a week before the June 2015 shooting that left nine dead.
However, when Roof actually carried out his hate-filled actions during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Meek did not immediately report what he knew to the authorities, prosecutors say.
CBS notes that prosecutors say that Meek lied to the FBI, first denying that Roof spoke about his plans, and then encouraged other friends he had told of Roof’s plans not to tell the authorities.
Meek had agreed to plead guilty and help prosecutors during Roof’s federal trial, in which he was convicted, but prosecutors never called him to the stand. But just before Meek was initially about to be sentenced last month, prosecutors motioned for harsher sentencing that guidelines recommended in order to make an example out of Meek and demonstrate the seriousness of the crime that he could have prevented.