US church shooter found guilty, could face death penalty


CHARLESTON, United States: Dylann Roof, the self-described white supremacist who gunned down nine African American parishioners at a historic church in Charleston last year, was found guilty of all charges on Thursday (Friday in Manila) and could now face the death penalty. A federal jury in the southern US port city needed only two hours to find Roof, 22, guilty on 33 counts, including hate crimes resulting in death. The attack on a Bible study group at the historic church known to most as “Mother Emanuel” shocked the nation, and exposed the deep divides in America over race and access to guns. “He executed them because he believed they were nothing more than animals,” federal prosecutor Nathan Williams said during his closing argument. The guilty verdict sends the trial into the penalty phase, which begins January 3. Roof, who did not testify during the trial, has elected to represent himself despite the prosecutors’ vow to seek a death sentence. The defendant showed no emotion and traced his fingers on the table in front of him as the 33 guilty verdicts were read out.


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