Charleston church massacre accused to act as own lawyer

Dylann Roof to stand trial over gun attack in South Carolina that killed nine people

Charleston county sheriff booking photo of suspect Dylann Roof following a fatal gun attack on a church in South Carolina.  File photograph: Charleston county sheriff/AFP/Getty Images

Charleston county sheriff booking photo of suspect Dylann Roof following a fatal gun attack on a church in South Carolina. File photograph: Charleston county sheriff/AFP/Getty Images

 

The man accused over the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church will act as his own lawyer in his federal death penalty trial.

Dylann Roof’s request came against his lawyers’ advice.

US district judge Richard Gergel has said he would reluctantly accept the 22-year-old’s “unwise” decision.

His lawyers can stand by and help Mr Roof if he asks.

‘Racist insults’

Police claim Mr Roof hurled racist insults at the six women and three men he is accused of killing and the three people he left alive in the June 2015 attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Mr Roof on hate crime, obstruction of religion and other charges.

PA