The Latest: 320 potential jurors report in church slayings

AP News
|
Posted: Sep 26, 2016 4:27 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the start of jury selection in the federal trial of Dylann Roof in the Charleston church shootings. (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

The first day of jury screening has wrapped up in the federal death penalty trial of a white man charged with killing nine black parishioners at a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

About 320 potential jurors reported to the federal courthouse as the process of seating a jury in the Dylann Roof trial got underway. He's charged with hate crimes resulting in death, obstruction of religion and other offenses.

Jurors reported in panels of 80. Those who weren't dismissed or allowed to defer their jury service filled out questionnaires related to the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in June, 2015. Initial screening continues until a pool of 700 jurors completes those questionnaires. Individual jury questioning begins in November.

About 3,000 jurors received summonses during the summer - a pool that was about 73 percent white and 23 percent black.

___

2:45 p.m.

About 160 potential jurors have now reported to the federal courthouse in Charleston, South Carolina as attorneys consider whether they want to seat them to hear the federal death penalty trial of Dylann Roof.

Hate crimes and obstruction of religion are among 33 federal charges Roof faces in the slayings of nine black parishioners during a Bible study in June of last year at Emanuel AME Church.

About 3,000 potential jurors received summonses over the summer and are being brought in during the next several days in panels of 80 for initial screening.

When the first group arrived on Monday, Roof was dressed in a striped prison jumpsuit. Later he appeared wearing a blue cable-knit sweater with grey slacks.

Roof generally avoided eye contact with the jurors, staring down as he sat between his two attorneys facing the jury pool.

___

10:20 a.m.

Jury screening is underway in the federal death penalty trial of Dylann Roof in the Charleston, South Carolina, church shootings.

About 80 potential jurors reported to the federal courthouse in Charleston on Monday morning. They are the first of hundreds expected to report during the coming days.

The 22-year-old Roof, dressed in a gray and white-striped prison jumpsuit, sat with his attorneys facing the potential jurors as the jury roll call was held. He generally avoided eye contact with jurors, staring down during the proceedings.

Roof is charged with 33 federal counts, including hate crimes and obstruction of religion, in the June 2015 shooting deaths of nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said trial testimony is likely to begin in late November or early December.

___

6:25 a.m.

Hundreds of potential jurors report to the federal courthouse in Charleston, South Carolina, in the coming days as the jury selection begins in the trial of a white man charged in deaths of nine black church parishioners.

Dylann Roof faces hate crimes and other federal counts in the June 2015 shooting deaths at Emanuel AME Church. The first jurors report Monday for initial screening.

Three thousand jurors have received summonses — a group that will be whittled to a pool of 700 jurors who return to the courthouse in November to be questioned individually by the judge.

Testimony isn't expected to begin until after Thanksgiving. While federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, Roof's attorneys have said he's willing to plead guilty and serve life if the death penalty is taken off the table.