Charleston church shooting suspect appears in court, trial date set
News2 – The confessed gunman in the shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, appeared in court Thursday, July 16.
Dylann Roof, 21, faces nine counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and one count of weapons possession in the June 17 rampage at Emanuel AME Church.
On Thursday morning, he was officially served the indictments. Roof appeared in court in a gray jumpsuit, handcuffed and his eyes were glazed over. News 2's Annie Taylor was in the courtroom during the hearing and she says Roof looked very thin and he didn't show any emotion.
The prosecutors, 9th Circuit Solicitor, Scarlett Wilson, Chief Deputy Solicitor, Bruce DuRant, and Assistant Solicitor, Chad Simpson were seated at the front right table in court. The defense, Chief Public Defender, Ashley Pennington, and South Carolina Commission of Indigent Defense, Bill McGuire were seated at the front left table in court.
The judge made the decision to give the defendant, the solicitor, the victims' families and law enforcement until Wednesday, July 22 at 5pm to file a motion to prevent the gag order from being lifted. If no motion is filed, the gag order will be lifted at 5pm on Wednesday, July 22 and the documents will be released. If the gag order is not lifted, photos, documents and 911 calls will never be released.
During the court hearing, Roof's attorney waived requesting bond. The judge waived bond and said that Roof is clearly a flight risk after he was captured in North Carolina after the Church shooting in Charleston.
It was also announced that July 11, 2016 will be the trial date for the Charleston Church Shooting suspect.
Last week, Circuit Court Judge J.C. Nicholson told police agencies not to fulfill media requests made under the state Freedom of Information Act for 911 calls, coroner reports and witness statements, according to The Associated Press, which is among the news agencies challenging the order.
The judge questioned whether the release of the documents could hinder Roof's right to a fair trial. Roof is being held without bond.
The massacre is being investigated as a hate crime. Police say Roof espoused racist ideology.
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