CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — An attorney defending the man accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, says a state prosecutor is making reckless misstatements by implying a federal death sentence might not be carried out.
Twenty-two-year-old Dylann Roof faces death penalty trials in state and federal courts in the shooting deaths of the parishioners at Emanuel AME Church a year ago.
Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson wants a judge to set the state trial before the federal trial. She notes the last federal execution was 13 years ago and the state has no confidence a federal death sentence would be carried out.
Attorney David Bruck says Wilson's position could mislead potential federal jurors to believe that their sentencing verdict would have no effect.
This story has been edited to restore Roof's first name, Dylann.