The Latest: Slain pastor and SC senator's portrait unveiled

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Posted: May 25, 2016 5:09 PM
The Latest: Slain pastor and SC senator's portrait unveiled

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a church shooting in Charleston about a year ago that left nine black members dead (all times local):

4:55 p.m.

A South Carolina state senator gunned down during Bible study at the Charleston church where he was pastor has been honored with a portrait in the Senate chamber.

The portrait was unveiled Wednesday. It shows Sen. Clementa Pinckney in his beloved Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, hand on a pew in light coming from one of the historic church's stained glass windows.

His widow, Jennifer, says her husband might have said he didn't deserve the honor. But she says he was a great man.

Sen. Gerald Malloy says the portrait needs to remind people both how Pinckney lived to help those less fortunate, and how he died because of bigoted ignorance.

Pinckney and eight others were killed last June by a gunman police say was motivated by racial hatred.

(This story corrects the spelling of Pinckney)

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10:05 a.m.

The pastor and state senator shot to death at a Charleston church last year is being remembered as his portrait is unveiled in the South Carolina Senate Chambers.

Sen. Clementa Pinckney was pastor at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. He was killed along with eight others during a Bible study June 17.

Pinckney had also been a Senator since 2001.

His portrait was to be unveiled Wednesday afternoon. Artist Larry Lebby was chosen to for Pinckney's portrait. Lebby has also done Statehouse paintings of South Carolina civil rights heroes Benjamin E. Mays and Modjeska Simkins.

The suspect in the shootings, Dylann Roof, could face a death sentence. Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday that they will seek the death sentence if he is convicted. State prosecutors are also seeking the death penalty.

(This story corrects spelling of Emanuel)

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3:35 a.m.

Nearly a year after the brutal shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a Charleston, South Carolina, church, the U.S. Justice Department is seeking the death penalty against the man charged in the killings.

The decision announced Tuesday means state and federal prosecutors are now seeking the maximum penalty against 22-year-old Dylann Roof in the June 17 shootings at Emanuel AME Church.

State Solicitor Scarlett Wilson in September announced her decision to pursue the death penalty against Roof on nine murder counts.

The possibility of a federal death penalty case has loomed over the case since the government announced last summer Roof would face hate crime charges, saying he was motivated by racial hatred and a desire to commit a "notorious attack" when he opened fire inside the church.

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