Dylann Roof To Face New Competency Hearing
Dylann Roof will have a new competency hearing ahead of his sentencing. The murderer who was convicted on all 33 counts in relation to that 2015 Charleston church shooting, will undergo a second hearing to determine if he’s competent to stand trial at his sentencing.
Roof, who wants to represent himself during sentencing, was found guilty of nine counts of hate crimes resulting in death, three counts of hate crimes involving an attempt to kill, nine counts of obstructing the exercise of religion resulting in death, three counts of that charge with an attempt to kill, and nine counts of using a firearm to commit murder during a crime of violence.
Jurors will decide if he deserves the death penalty or life in prison.
Standby counsel for Dylann Roof, 22, filed a motion under seal Thursday asking Judge Richard Gergel of U.S. District Court in Charleston determine whether the defendant is competent to proceed with the sentencing phase.
Gergel granted that motion and scheduled the competency hearing for Monday, a federal holiday, with jurors expected to reconvene for the sentencing phase Tuesday.
The motion came one day after a hearing in which Roof again said he would represent himself during the sentencing. He told the court he planned to offer an opening statement but will not call witnesses or submit evidence in his defense
With sentencing set to begin in five days, Roof again has dismissed the lawyers, a move that prevents them from submitting evidence that he suffers from a mental defect. Evaluations and testimony from mental health experts in the sentencing phase often are considered key factors that might persuade jurors to vote for a life sentence over execution.
In court filings, Roof has indicated he will not call mental health experts, reversing a course his lawyers had planned earlier.
Hopefully, this murderous trash is ruled competent before his sentencing in January.