State prosecutors to seek death penalty for Dylann Roof
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State prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Dylann Storm Roof, the alleged gunman in the Charleston, S.C., mass shooting this summer, according to reports.

The prosecutor, Scarlett Wilson, will announce the decision at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, according to The Post and Courier.

Roof is accused of killing nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17. The 21-year-old faces nine counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and a firearms charge.


A jury must find a defendant guilty of an aggravated criminal offense before recommending the death penalty in South Carolina, according to the report.

A court document filed by the prosecutor alleges that Roof created a risk of death for more than one person in a public place, which under state law would make him eligible for the death penalty.

He has also been indicted on 33 charges in federal court. It is unclear whether federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

Roof pleaded not guilty to the federal charges against him during a hearing on July 31.

Those charges included 12 counts of hate crime violations, 12 counts under civil rights provisions protecting freedom of religion and nine for using a firearm for murder.

Roof allegedly used racial epithets at the predominantly African-American church before opening fire.

The incident inflamed a national debate over the use of Confederate imagery after photos surfaced of Roof posing with Confederate flags.

South Carolina removed a Confederate battle flag from its state Capitol grounds in Columbia following the attack.