The Latest: Prosecutors say they need 7 days in church case

AP News
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Posted: Dec 05, 2016 11:33 AM

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

11:30 a.m.

Prosecutors estimate it will take about seven days to present their case against Dylann Roof, who is charged with hate crimes in the fatal shooting of nine black parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina, church last year.

Roof's lawyers were put back on the case Monday by the judge after Roof requested it. They said they wouldn't need much time to prepare for the guilt phase of Roof's trial, which is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Roof, meaning there will be a second, penalty phase of the trial if he's found guilty. For that part, Roof wants to go back to being his own lawyer.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel also ruled Monday that Roof's parents, grandmother and grandfather can remain in the courtroom during the trial even though they're potential witnesses. All other witnesses must stay out until they testify. Roof's grandfather is a lawyer.

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10:50 a.m.

A federal judge has allowed a white man accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners at a Charleston, South Carolina, church to hire back his lawyers, at least for the first phase of his trial.

Dylann Roof asked U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel over the weekend if he could use his attorneys during the guilt phase, but still be his own lawyer during the penalty phase. Prosecutors have asked for the death penalty.

Gergel agreed Monday, but warned Roof that he can't change his mind again. Last Monday, the 22-year-old Roof fired his high-powered legal team and handled the selection of a pool of 67 potential jurors himself.

Authorities say Roof killed the parishioners in a racially motivated attack at the Emanuel AME Church in June 2015.

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2:40 a.m.

Dylann Roof's first real test acting as his own attorney is coming as he faces off with prosecutors over pretrial motions in his federal death penalty trial over the killing of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church.

Exactly what will be discussed at Monday's hearing isn't known. Both prosecutors and the defense have filed dozens of motions, most of them sealed and hidden from the public.

Roof's request to be his own lawyer was reluctantly granted last week by U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel.

Roof asked Sunday that his defense team be allowed back on the case for the guilt phase of his trial. Opening statements are expected to begin after a jury is selected Wednesday.

Roof, who's white, is accused of opening fire on black worshippers in a Charleston church in June 2015.