The Latest: FBI connects manifesto to suspect's computer

AP News
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Posted: Dec 12, 2016 5:11 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest in the federal trial of a man accused of gunning down nine South Carolina church members during Bible study (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

An FBI examiner has connected a racist manifesto to a computer belonging to the father of a man accused of slaying nine people during Bible study at a South Carolina church.

Former FBI technology examiner Amanda Simmons testified Monday she copied and examined a computer at the home of Dylann Roof's father. On that computer, Simmons said she found more than 100 deleted images on the computer, including some that were found on a website associated with Roof.

She said she also located a document related to an online posting containing offensive racial claims about blacks and Jews. Simmons testified files associated with the manifesto were last accessed at 4:45 p.m. on June 17, 2015, just hours before the shootings at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church.

Roof faces 33 federal charges including hate crimes and obstruction of the practice of religion. Prosecutors said they'd call more experts Tuesday and could potentially wrap up their case with shooting survivor Polly Sheppard.

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4 p.m.

Photos and text from a website attributed to the man charged with killing nine people during a South Carolina church Bible study have been introduced as part of his federal death penalty trial.

FBI Special Agent Tracy Sicks read aloud from Dylann Roof's online manifesto during testimony Monday afternoon. In a document with several sections, Roof detailed his thoughts on slavery, the migration of white people to suburban areas and violence between the races.

The website was widely examined after Roof's arrest in the June 2015 shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

Roof poses with a Confederate flag in some of the photos from the website. His embrace of the Confederate symbol led to a successful push last summer to remove the Confederate battle flag from a pole at South Carolina's Statehouse complex.

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2:30 p.m.

A firearms expert says he matched dozens of bullets from the South Carolina church where nine people were slain to a gun recovered from a man's car.

State Law Enforcement Division Agent James Green testified Monday that he verified that 70 bullets and fragments found at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston were fired by a gun recovered from Dylann Roof's car.

Green says he examined 11 other bullets that had been fired, but the results weren't conclusive.

Roof is on trial this week on 33 federal charges related to the June 2015 slayings during a Bible study at the church. His attorneys have said he would be willing to plead guilty if prosecutors would drop their pursuit of the death penalty.

He faces a second death penalty trial in state court next year.

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12:30 p.m.

The manager of a store that sold a handgun to the man accused of killing nine people at a South Carolina church says a typical background check was done on the buyer.

Ronnie Thrailkill (THRELL-kell) testified Monday that Dylann Roof filled out the paperwork required by federal law when he came into Shooter's Choice in April 2015.

Roof had been arrested for drugs two months earlier, but Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon told The Associated Press that a jail clerk entered incorrect information that wasn't ever fixed in a state database.

When Roof sought to buy the gun, an FBI examiner spotted the arrest, but called the wrong agency to get his record. Without the necessary documents, the purchase had to go through after three days as is federally required.

Victims' families are suing the FBI for negligence in allowing the sale. FBI Director James Comey has said Roof should have never been allowed to buy the gun and promised a full review.

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11 a.m.

A prosecution witness has testified that a list of black churches was found in the car of the man charged with killing nine people at a South Carolina church when he was arrested last year.

Former State Law Enforcement Division agent Brittany Burke testified Monday the names of a handful of other churches and their addresses were found on a handwritten list in a backpack in Dylann Roof's car.

Burke is one of the agents who processed evidence found in Roof's car when he was arrested after the June 2015 shootings at Emanuel AME Church. During her testimony, prosecutors showed other pictures of items retrieved from Roof's car, including a cellphone, laptop, ammunition and an American flag that had been burned.

Roof is being tried in federal court on 33 charges, including hate crimes and obstruction of the practice of a religion. A jury began hearing testimony in the case last week.

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9:35 a.m.

Attorneys for the man charged with killing nine people during a Bible study in a Charleston church are again arguing prosecutors' first witness tainted the case against their client.

The defense team for Dylann Roof argues in court papers filed Monday comments made by one of the survivors of the Emanuel AME Church shooting could influence other witnesses who were in the courtroom at the time.

Felicia Sanders testified last week Roof belonged in "the pit of hell." Defense attorneys requested a mistrial, saying her testimony was suggestive he should get the death penalty.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel denied that motion and allowed Sanders' testimony to remain in the record. In their new filing, Roof's defense team asks the judge to reconsider that decision and also to instruct further witnesses to leave their opinions on potential sentences out of their testimony.

Roof faces 33 federal charges including hate crimes. He faces a possible death sentence.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP. Read more of her work at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/meg-kinnard/