Federal trial date set for alleged Charleston church shooter
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The man accused of killing nine people in a racially motivated shooting in Charleston, S.C. — in which prosecutors are seeking the death penalty — will face federal trial in four months.

Dylann Storm Roof, 22, will begin his federal trial on Nov. 7, according to The Post and Courier.


U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel on Tuesday said Roof’s trial process is moving along far faster than most death penalty cases.

Gergel said only a “shot in the dark” could delay the date for Roof’s federal trial this fall, the first of two trials over last year’s bloodshed.

Roof is accused of killing nine people after opening fire on Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015.

The state trial is set to begin in January. A judge previously scheduled the state trial for this month, The Post and Courier reported, but the date was pushed into 2017 in light of federal charges against Roof.

Roof is thought to be the first criminal defendant facing the death penalty at both the federal and state levels, the newspaper added.

The Post and Courier said the federal court is considering calling 1,200 to 1,500 potential jurors from across South Carolina for Roof’s trial.

Federal prosecutors announced in late May they would seek the death penalty against Roof following his indictment on 33 federal charges last year.

State prosecutors, meanwhile, said last September they would pursue the same punishment for Roof, who has 13 charges at that level.

Roof allegedly uttered racial epithets before shooting worshippers at Emanuel AME Church, which is a historically African-American congregation.

The incident prompted a national debate over the use of Confederate imagery after photos surfaced of Roof posing with a Confederate battle flag.