The Latest: Dylann Roof won't submit evidence to spare life

AP News
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Posted: Dec 28, 2016 10:54 AM

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

10:50 a.m.

Dylann Roof has told a judge he plans on calling no witnesses and presenting no evidence to try to convince a jury to spare his life for killing nine black Charleston church worshippers in a hate crime.

Roof told U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel at a hearing Wednesday he still plans to act as his own lawyer when the penalty phase of his federal death penalty trial begins next Tuesday.

Gergel told Roof to talk to his grandfather, who is a lawyer, and other family members one last time. He says Roof can change his mind and bring back his attorneys up until opening statements next week.

There also was argument from Roof about mystery evidence, like a photograph prosecutors want to show and video from jailhouse visits. Specifics were not given in court.

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5:20 a.m.

Dylann Roof may soon show how hard he intends to fight to save his life as prosecutors seek the death penalty for killing nine black worshippers in a hate crime at a Charleston church.

A judge scheduled a hearing Wednesday in federal court to hear motions before the penalty phase in Roof's trial starts next week.

Roof is now acting as his own lawyer after letting go of his defense attorneys after a jury convicted him of 33 counts of hate crimes and obstruction of justice earlier this month.

Roof's lawyers say they think he got rid of them because they wanted to present what Roof thought was embarrassing evidence seeking to get the same jury to spare his life.