A friend of Dylann Roof appeared in a Columbia court Friday for arraignment on federal charges stemming from the shooting deaths of nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
Joseph “Joey” Meek Jr., 21, pled not guilty to charges that he willfully and knowingly made false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements to FBI investigators following the shooting in June. The judge recommended his bond be placed at $100,000.
According to court documents released Friday, investigators claim Meek denied knowing any “specifics of Dylann Roof’s plan to shoot individuals” during their weekly Bible study at Mother Emanuel Church. Meek is charged with making false statements and misprision of a felony, which is the deliberate concealment of one’s knowledge of a crime. Meek was taken into custody Thursday.
As revealed in a recent profile by the Washington Post
, Meek and his family allowed Roof to stay in their home in Lexington County in the weeks before the shooting. Meek told The Post
that Roof made statements regarding Emanuel AME Church and doing “something crazy,” but disregarded the comments as drunken ramblings. Meek and his girlfriend, Lindsey Fry, went so far as to hide Roof’s gun, but ultimately returned it.
Following the shooting, Meek claims that he suspected Roof’s involvement and called police after seeing footage of the suspected shooter on TV.
Court documents claim that Meek, having knowledge of the commission of a felony by Roof, concealed information and failed to contact authorities as soon as possible. According to prosecutors, Meek could receive a maximum sentence of eight years in prison — five years for lying to investigators and three years for concealing information. Meek may also be fined as much as $500,000 for both charges.