The Latest: Trial delayed for church shooting suspect

AP News
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Posted: Oct 01, 2015 10:48 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The latest on the case against a white man charged with gunning down nine black people at a Charleston church in June (all times local):

10:35 a.m.

A federal judge has delayed the trial for a white man accused of shooting nine black people at a Charleston church earlier this year.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Thursday agreed to delay the trial of 21-year-old Dylann Roof until at least January.

The trial had been set for next month. Gergel says both defense attorneys and federal prosecutors said they needed more time to prepare.

The federal government has still not said if it will pursue the death penalty against Roof in the June 17 shootings at Emanuel AME Church.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson said Thursday the U.S. Justice Department is still reviewing the matter and that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will ultimately make the determination.

State prosecutors have said they will pursue the death penalty against Roof on charges including nine counts of murder.

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8:20 a.m.

Attorneys in the federal government's case against a white man accused in the Charleston church shootings will meet with a judge, but the defendant won't attend the session.

Twenty-one-year-old Dylann Roof faces dozens of federal charges, including hate crimes, stemming from the June 17 shootings at Emanuel AME Church.

Attorneys will meet in Charleston on Thursday, but Roof has waived his right to appear.

In new court documents posted online late Wednesday, Roof also waived his right to a speedy trial in the case. Under federal law, a trial must be held within 70 days of a defendant's indictment and Roof was indicted in July.

Jury selection in the case is currently set to begin next month.

Attorney meetings, like the one set for Thursday, usually deal with evidentiary and scheduling issues.

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4:10 a.m.

Attorneys in the federal case against a white man accused of gunning down nine black people at a Charleston church are meeting with the judge.

Twenty-one-year-old Dylann Roof faces dozens of federal charges stemming from the June 17 shootings at Emanuel AME Church. Federal prosecutors haven't said if they'll seek the death penalty, and Roof's attorneys have said he would like to plead guilty.

It isn't clear exactly what attorneys will discuss before U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Thursday. Usually such meetings deal with scheduling and evidence. Three sealed orders have been issued in the case.

Jury selection in the case is set for next month.

Roof faces additional counts in state court. State prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.