JUSTICE

Dylann Roof Found Fit to Stand Trial in Church Shooting

A Charleston judge on Friday ruled that Dylann Roof is competent to stand trial in the June 2015 shooting deaths of nine people at Emanuel AME Church. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel announced his decision on Friday morning, with jury selection in Roof’s trial set to begin on Monday morning at 9 a.m. “After carefully considering the record before the Court, the relevant legal standards, and the arguments of counsel, the Court now finds and concludes that the Defendant is competent to stand trial,” Gergel said in his decision. Roof, 22, pleaded not guilty to 33 federal charges. Jury selection was originally scheduled to begin on Nov. 7, but Roof’s defense demanded that doctors check him out to determine whether he suffers from a “mental disease or defect” which would make him unfit for trial. A court-appointed doctor subsequently found that Roof was fit for trial and was not suffering from any mental illness.