Charleston church shooter trial begins Monday


WASHINGTON: Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old accused of gunning down nine black churchgoers in South Carolina, is set to go on trial Monday over a crime that so horrified the country he faces two death penalty prosecutions. The suspected white supremacist allegedly carried out the June 17, 2015 massacre with a .45 caliber Glock handgun at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston after he took part in an evening Bible study class. Also known as “Mother Emanuel,” the church is one of the oldest black congregations in the American South, with strong links to the fight against slavery and segregation. The authorities found chilling evidence of Roof’s apparent neo-Nazi leanings on a website believed to be his. He espoused racist views toward African-Americans and posed for photos with firearms and the Confederate battle flag. Speculation over Roof’s case is focused on whether he will receive a sentence of life in prison or death. The federal proceedings could last weeks.


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