Joey Meek Jr., a friend of admitted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, pleaded not guilty to federal charges of misprision, concealing knowledge of a crime, and making a false statement on Friday.
"Meek is alleged to have taken steps to conceal his knowledge of the crimes committed by Dylann Storm Roof, and to have made materially false statements when Meek told a Special Agent of the FBI that he did not know specifics of Roof’s plan to shoot individuals on a Wednesday, during Bible Study, at an AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, prior to Roof’s attack on June 17, 2015," read a statement from the U.S. Justice Department
The charges carry up to three and five year prison sentences, respectively.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges said she would only accept a not guilty plea, and one was entered on Meek's behalf.
The Washington Post reported
that the men have been friends since childhood.
In the weeks before the shooting, Roof slept on the floor of Meek's family trailer home in Lexington County. Meek's mother, girlfriend, and two brothers lived there at the time.
Meek, 21, and his girlfriend Lindsey Fry — who was also questioned by the FBI — said that in the days prior to the shooting that killed nine at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Dylann said he was going to "do something crazy," and that "black people was taking over the country," so they hid his gun. They later returned it, believing his statements were nothing more than a drunken rant.
"I didn’t take him seriously," Meek said.
Roof has been charged with nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
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