Alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof assaulted in jail

Alleged mass murderer Dylann Storm Roof is recovering from minor injuries after a fellow inmate assaulted him, according to a Thursday report out of South Carolina.

The Post and Courier said the 22-year-old Roof, who is accused of killing nine people in a racially motivated shooting last year, was attacked while showering around 7:45 a.m. in the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center in Charleston, S.C.

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Dwayne Marion Stafford, 25, reportedly exited his cell and ran downstairs to the jail’s first level, where Roof was showering. The unarmed Stafford began striking Roof in the face and the body, leading to bruising, before detention officers broke up the fight, authorities said.

Stafford, who is black, is now charged with third-degree assault and battery for the "unprovoked" attack. The misdemeanor charge carries a penalty of up to 30 more days in jail and a fine up to $500.

Roof allegedly uttered racial epithets before attacking worshipers last June at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Roof’s lawyers on Monday had filed a challenge to the Justice Department’s efforts to seek the death penalty in his case.

“The death penalty — in and of itself — constitutes an unconstitutional punishment,” they said in the document.

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

Federal prosecutors announced last May they would seek capital punishment following his indictment last year on 33 charges including federal hate crimes and firearms violations.

State prosecutors said in September they would seek the same punishment for Roof, who faces 13 charges at that level.