Dylann Roof trial: Closing arguments to follow days of chilling testimony

Roof, 22, an avowed white supremacist, was found guilty in December on all federal charges in the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Prosecutors have begun closing arguments in Dylann Roof's sentencing by reminding jurors about the bloody crime at a Charleston church where Roof killed nine people.

Also key to the government's case was was showing Roof's planning for the June 17, 2015 massacre, in which Roof targeted a group of worshipers who'd invited him to study the Bible with them on a Wednesday night, waiting almost an hour before opening fire. "What I meant when I said that was I felt like I had to do it and I still feel like I had to do it".

"Anyone who hates anything in their mind has a good reason to hate", Roof added. Only three out of the 12 in the church at the time survived.

Summing up, Richardson said: "They welcomed a 13th person that night. with a kind word, a Bible, a handout and a chair". He told the Federal Bureau of Investigation men he was surprised he was able to kill as many people as he did with his.45-caliber Glock pistol.

In Roof's motion, he lists 10 topics he doesn't want prosecutors to use during closing arguments.

The formal sentencing hearing will take place Wednesday at 9:30am, according to WLTX's Janae Frazier, who then subsequently reported that the judge would not grant Roof's request for new lawyers for a motion for a new trial.

The jury made its decision in less than three hours.

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Jurors are getting a review of the emotional testimony given by friends and relatives of the nine people gunned down by Dylann Roof during a June 2015 Bible study.

Inside the courtroom, Roof looked straight forward, displaying no obvious emotion as the prosecution showed the jury graphic photos of the deceased victims' bodies lying on the bloodstained floor of their church meeting room.

And Roof still faces a second trial, by the state of SC, where he also faces the death penalty.

In his Federal Bureau of Investigation confession, he said that he hoped the massacre would bring back segregation or start a race war. They shared cherished memories and talked about a future without a mother, father, sister or brother. But behind the scenes, Roof was expressing his frustration at being forced to hear these personal stories, saying that each one was pushing for the death penalty.

Richardson recalled Jennifer Pinckney's remarks about her husband, Clementa, who was remembered for singing goofy songs and watching cartoons with their young daughters in his spare time.

He also said that Roof's current lawyers, whom he had dismissed during sentencing in order to act as his own lawyer, had "performed admirably".

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in 2015.

  • Megan Austin