The Latest: Jurors see dashcam video of Roof apprehension

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2016 5:37 PM
The Latest: Jurors see dashcam video of Roof apprehension

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the federal death-penalty trial of Dylann Roof, charged with killing nine black people during a Bible study in a Charleston church (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Jurors in the Charleston church shooting trial have viewed dashcam video from two police cruisers showing the apprehension of Dylann Roof.

Roof was arrested in Shelby, North Carolina, on June 18, 2015, the day after authorities say he killed nine black parishioners during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church.

Two Shelby officers testified during Roof's death penalty trial on Thursday that he surrendered to police without incident and did not oppose extradition back to South Carolina. One video shows Roof's car being pulled over and Roof being escorted back to a police cruiser in handcuffs. Officers said they found a pistol beneath a pillow in the car after Roof told them he had a gun.

Testimony has concluded for the day in Roof's federal trial in which he faces 33 counts, including hate crimes, stemming from the church shootings.

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4:05 p.m.

Sitting in an eerily silent courtroom, jurors have seen stark 360-degree computer views of the crime scene in the fellowship hall at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston where nine black parishioners were gunned down.

The scenes were shown for more than 30 minutes during Dylann Roof's death penalty trial on Thursday. They showed the victims lying in pools of blood near the circular tables where they were conducting a Bible study. Bullet casings and gun magazines were strewn around the scene.

Britany Burke, who was the lead investigator for the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division at the time, testified that 22 projectiles were recovered from scene while 54 more were recovered from the bodies of the victims.

Roof is charged with 33 federal counts, including hate crimes, in the June 2015 shootings. Prosecutors say he targeted the black parishioners because he wanted to start a race war.

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1:10 p.m.

Dylann Roof's lawyers say his mother suffered a heart attack after listening to opening statements in her son's death penalty trial.

Roof's mother collapsed as she tried to stand after prosecutor Jay Richardson detailed what he said was Roof's cold and calculated plan to kill nine black people in a Charleston church in a racially motivated attack.

She said "I'm sorry" several times as family members and court security came to help. The filing did not give her current condition.

Roof's lawyers detailed the heart attack in a request Thursday for a mistrial because of the emotional testimony of the first day of his death penalty trial.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel denied the request and testimony continued Thursday.

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11:20 a.m.

Jurors have seen video showing Dylann Roof entering a Charleston church and leaving with a gun in his hand.

On the second day of Roof's death penalty trial, Charleston police Sgt. Dan English showed the jury more than 20 video clips taken from surveillance cameras in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal parking lot and over a door on June 17, 2015.

Those clips showed many of the nine shooting victims entering the church. They also show Roof pulling up next to the side door and getting out of his car. Roof is seen leaving the church 52 minutes later and driving off. A final clip taken about 25 minutes after Roof leaves shows one of the shooting victims carried out on a stretcher.

Roof, who is white, is charged with killing nine black parishioners at the church in an attempt to start a race war.

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10:25 a.m.

A federal judge has denied a defense request for a mistrial in Dylann Roof's trial in the Charleston church shooting.

Judge Richard Gergel said Thursday that a survivor's testimony about Roof belonging "in the pit of hell" was not a statement on what his sentence should be. The judge told attorneys he interpreted Felicia Sanders testimony as "a religious comment."

The judge instructed jurors that any decision on guilt or a sentence is up to the jury — not the attorneys or witnesses in the case.

Roof is on trial for hate crimes and other counts in the June 2015 shootings of nine black parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The defense, in a motion Thursday, asked for a mistrial saying that Sanders' testimony suggested a sentence. Sanders also called Roof evil during her testimony.

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9 a.m.

Defense attorneys are asking for a mistrial in Dylann Roof's death-penalty trial, saying a witness's remarks that he is evil and belongs in the "pit of hell" were inappropriate.

Roof is on trial on 33 federal counts, including hate crimes, in the June 2015 shootings of nine black parishioners during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church.

In a motion filed Thursday morning, the defense asks for a mistrial after shooting survivor Felicia Sanders took the stand Wednesday and called Roof "evil, evil, evil" and said he should be in "the pit of hell."

In the motion, the defense said such statements have no place in a courtroom. The motion asks that, if a mistrial is not granted, prosecutors be prohibited from mentioning the testimony in their closing arguments. The court has not yet taken up the motion.

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2:40 a.m.

The attorneys defending Dylann Roof in the Charleston church shooting trial are largely conceding his guilt in the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church last year. Their attention is on keeping their client out of the death chamber.

Roof's federal death penalty trial on 33 counts, including hate crimes, enters a second day Thursday.

Roof's defense attorney David Bruck told the jurors as the trial opened there's not a lot the defense can dispute in the guilt or innocence phase of the trial. The real question, he said, is whether the 22-year-old Roof spends the rest of his life in prison or is executed.

Bruck said the defense may not present any defense witnesses in the guilt phase of the trial and won't have many questions for those the prosecution calls.