The Latest: Dylann Roof had hate-filled journal in car

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Posted: Dec 09, 2016 5:01 PM
The Latest: Dylann Roof had hate-filled journal in car

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

4:55 p.m.

Dylann Roof left a handwritten journal full of hatred of blacks, Jews and even white women in his car when he was arrested for killing nine black people in a Charleston church.

The journal was entered into evidence Friday at Roof's death penalty trial.

It contained dozen of dubious claims, such as blacks liked being slaves and whites were naturally superior to blacks. It contained racial slurs and a suggestion that white women who date outside their race shouldn't be killed, but need to repent.

Roof wrote that segregation prevented whites from being dragged down to the level of blacks.

Roof also wrote about regretting he never fell in love.

Roof is on trial for the June 2015 killings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church.

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3:20 p.m.

Dylann Roof told FBI agents questioning him after nine black people were killed in a Charleston church that he could never tell their families he killed them because of their race.

Roof told the agents that he couldn't even look at the families of the victims.

Prosecutors played Roof's two-hour interview and confession Friday at the third day of his federal death penalty trial. And throughout the trial, he has not looked at the dozens of family members in the courtroom.

Roof told the agents that while a black person never did anything personally to him to hurt him, he was tired of white people being treated like second-class citizens

Authorities say Roof shot the victims during Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.

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12:30 p.m.

Dylann Roof told FBI agents in his confession to killing nine black church members in Charleston last year the he planned to kill himself but changed his mind when no police officers showed up immediately after the shooting.

Roof was arrested the following day in North Carolina. His recorded confession was played Friday for jurors at his death penalty trial. It was the first time it has been publicly aired.

In the video, Roof says he chose the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in part because it's the oldest black church in the South. He also says he knew there would be a small group of blacks there.

His defense team has largely conceded his guilt and has instead tried to focus on sparing him the death penalty.

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12:10 p.m.

Dylann Roof told FBI agents in his confession to killing nine black church members in Charleston last year that he had driven by the church before the shooting and asked about worship services.

In a video played at his death penalty trial Friday, Roof says he committed the slayings because he said blacks were raping white women and killing each other. He says what he did was much more "minuscule" than that.

The FBI questioning had not been aired publicly before Friday. In the video, Roof says he chose the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in part because it's the oldest black church in the South.

His defense team has largely conceded his guilt and has instead tried to focus on sparing him the death penalty.

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11:25 a.m.

Dylann Roof hesitated for only moments before confessing to killing nine black people at a Charleston church as an FBI agent questioned him less than a day after the shooting.

The videotaped interview with two FBI agents was shown Friday at Roof's death penalty trial. After standard questions about knowing his rights, FBI agent Michael Stansbury made a minute of small talk about Roof's family, where he went to school and what he did for a living.

When Stansbury asked Roof what happened last night, he paused for about 20 seconds. Then Roof said "Uh, I did it."

Roof was speaking calmly. A few minutes later he said he thought he killed about five people.

Prosecutors plan to show more of Roof's two-hour confession.

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10:10 a.m.

Lawyers for Dylann Roof are telling the federal judge presiding over his death penalty trial they want to be able to present more evidence about his personality and state of mind.

The lawyers filed the motion Friday, and U.S. Judge Richard Gergel said he would take up the issue on a case-by-case basis before jurors began hearing testimony.

Roof's lawyers haven't contested that he shot and killed nine black people in a Charleston church in a racially motivated attack in June 2015.

The filing indicates Roof's lawyers want to include evidence that might convince jurors not to seek the death penalty before they have to leave the case. If he is found guilty, Roof has said he does not want his lawyers to represent him in the penalty phase of the trial.

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5:55 a.m.

Prosecutors in South Carolina say they plan to play Dylann Roof's recorded confession during his federal death penalty trial in the Charleston church shootings.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson says he plans to play the confession for jurors Friday as the trial enters a third day.

Roof is on trial on 33 federal counts, including hate crimes, in the shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. Prosecutors say Roof shot and killed nine black parishioners during Bible study there because he wanted to start a race war.

On Thursday, jurors saw stark 360-degree photographs of the crime scene in the church's fellowship hall. They saw the victims lying in pools of blood with bullets and ammunition magazines scattered around the scene.