The federal hate crimes trial of the white supremacist accused of killing nine people in a historically black South Carolina church last year is scheduled to restart Monday in Charleston.
A grand jury indicted Dylann Roof, 22, on 33 counts of hate crimes and other charges last July, and jury selection began in September. But the process was delayed earlier this month after Roof’s lawyers suggested he might not be competent to stand trial.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled on Friday that he is, and jury selection is expected to begin again Monday.
In a separate proceeding, Roof also faces nine counts of state capital murder charges. That trial is scheduled to begin in January.
Roof is accused of bringing a .45-caliber Glock pistol and eight magazines loaded with hollow point bullets to a Bible study group at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on the night of June 17, 2015.
After sitting with the group for an hour, Roof allegedly opened fire, killing eight parishioners and the church’s senior pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney.
Prosecutors have said that that Roof planned the attack for months with the hope that it would start a race war.
When Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the indictment in July, she described this type of “racially motivated violence” as the "the original type of domestic terrorism."
"We think that this is exactly the type of case that the federal hate crimes statues were, in fact, conceived of to cover," she said.