Attorneys for Dylann Roof request Charleston-area jury

Capital case could be decided by local jury


  • Sam Spence
Attorneys for accused Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof have filed court documents requesting that the jury for their client’s federal trial be pulled from the Charleston area alone.

During a hearing last week, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel suggested that the 12 jurors and six alternates who will decide Roof’s guilt or innocence in the capital trial be drawn from a statewide pool of 1,200-1,500. At that time, defense attorney David Bruck mentioned a possible preference for a local jury pool in a move that seemed to catch the judge by surprise. Roof faces a 33-count federal indictment stemming from the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston that claimed nine lives almost one year ago.

Roof originally waived his right to a trial by jury — putting his fate in the hands of Judge Gergel — but federal prosecutors did not consent. Potential jurors who are deemed acceptable after completing a standard questionnaire will appear in a federal courthouse between Sept. 26-30 to complete a case-specific questionnaire. The final round of jury selection will coincide with the start of Roof’s federal trial set to begin Nov. 7.

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