Tags: dylann roof | hate crime | charge | charleston | shooter

Dylann Roof Hate Crime Charge Announced Along With Murder, Firearms

Image: Dylann Roof Hate Crime Charge Announced Along With Murder, Firearms
Dylann Roof (R), the 21-year-old man charged with murdering nine worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston last month, is helped to his chair by chief public defender Ashley Pennington during a hearing at the Judicial Center in Charleston, South Carolina July 16, 2015. (Randall Hill/Reuters)

By    |   Thursday, 23 Jul 2015 09:58 AM

Dylann Roof, charged in the June shooting deaths of nine Charleston churchgoers, received hate crime charges in addition to murder charges, firearms charges, and obstructing the practice of religion charges on Wednesday.

Totaling 33 charges total, a grand jury has made Roof, 21, eligible for the death penalty, The Associated Press reported.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the charges Wednesday. Because South Carolina has no state hate crimes law, she said, federal charges were brought because the defendant "decided to seek out and murder African-Americans because of their race."

Roof has appeared in pictures waving Confederate flags, and the indictment offers as evidence of his motivation a personal manuscript in which he criticized racial integration, used racial slurs, and said explicitly that blacks were inferior to whites.

Prosecutors will seek to show that Roof sought to increase racial tensions to the point of a race war with his alleged criminal actions.

Lynch said Roof is now eligible for the death penalty, but added that the Justice Department will consult the families of the victims in its consideration of pursuing it, as some families have expressed forgiveness toward Roof.

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Dylann Roof, charged in the June shooting deaths of nine Charleston churchgoers, received hate crime charges in addition to murder charges, firearms charges, and obstructing the practice of religion charges on Wednesday.
dylann roof, hate crime, charge, charleston, shooter
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2015-58-23
Thursday, 23 Jul 2015 09:58 AM
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