News came down this morning that convicted Emanuel AME killer Dylann Roof will plead guilty to capital charges being brought by state prosecutors. Already convicted on federal charges and sentenced to be executed by the federal government, Roof's plea means that victims and their families will not have to endure another heart-wrenching trial in state court.
Until today, Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson maintained that the state intended to try Roof for killing nine people inside Emanuel AME Church in June 2015. The Post and Courier reports
that Wilson told families of victims in a letter today that she thought accepting Roof's guilty plea next month was the best course of action at this point:
"As I told you towards the end of trial and in other updates, at this point our goal is to provide an insurance policy to the federal conviction and sentence. The most effective way to do that is to secure a guilty plea for a life sentence and get the defendant into federal custody."
Roof was convicted on 33 federal charges including hate crimes in January for the racially-motivated mass killing. South Carolina law does not criminalize hate crimes. He will reportedly be transferred to federal authorities and moved to a prison in Indiana which houses federal death row inmates.