Dylann Roof Puts Up No Defense Against Death Penalty - NBC New York
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Dylann Roof Puts Up No Defense Against Death Penalty

Roof, 22, was convicted last month on 33 federal charges



    Roof Jury Considers Death Penalty

    Dylann Roof, who shot and killed nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina in 2015, spoke for himself during the sentencing phase of his trial, telling jurors "there's nothing wrong with me psychologically." (Published Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017)

    After four days of testimony, prosecutors rested their death penalty case Monday against convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, calling more than two dozen people during the trial's penalty phase.

    Most of the testimony consisted of heartwarming stories about each of the nine people Roof killed in the 2015 attack at Emanuel AME Church. Witnesses also talked about the heartrending tales of loss in the wake of the deaths.

    Roof, 22, was convicted last month on 33 federal charges, including hate crimes and obstruction of religion. The same jury that found him guilty has been back in court this month, tasked with deciding if he gets the death penalty or life in prison.

    As he promised earlier in the trial, Roof — who is representing himself — rested his case without calling witnesses or presenting any evidence on his own behalf.

    Family of Church Shooting Victim Reacts to Verdict

    [NATL] Family of Charleston Church Shooting Victim Reacts to Verdict
    Tyrone Sanders (left) and Felicia Sanders (center), family members of those killed at Emanual AME Church last year in Charleston, were pleased with the guilty verdicts in Dylann Roof's federal murder trial. Tyron and Felicia lost their son in the attack, while Felicia is also a survivor.
    (Published Monday, Dec. 19, 2016)

    Jennifer Pinckney was the government's first witness, testifying about the life of her husband, church pastor and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney. She also spoke about the harrowing minutes she spent huddled underneath a desk with her youngest daughter as shots rang out in the next room, unsure if the shooter was coming her way.

    Survivor Felicia Sanders, who also gave powerful testimony during the guilt phase of Roof's trial, wrapped up prosecutors' case at sentencing, talking about her creative, 26-year-old son, the youngest victim, and his commitment to his faith and Emanuel.

    "That night they were getting basic instruction before leaving Earth," Sanders said. "I did not know that was going to be the life of them."

    U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel says he expects jurors to begin deliberating as early as Tuesday. Later Monday afternoon, Roof, prosecutors and the judge were expected to hash out the jury charge, a set of instructions on the law jurors will receive before they start their discussions.