Roof, a white
supremacist, is charged with killing nine African-American
parishioners on June 17, 2015, during a Bible study meeting at
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The hate-fueled
shooting of the churchgoers as they closed their eyes to pray
stunned the country.
As part of a plea agreement, Roof will be sentenced to life in
prison and forgo a state trial, Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said
by phone. State prosecutors also had been pursuing the death
penalty but that will be taken off the table.
He is due to enter his plea on April 10.
Roof, 22, was sentenced to death in January after a federal
court trial that ended with jurors finding him guilty of 33
charges, including hate crimes resulting in death.
Wilson declined to discuss with Reuters why state prosecutors
opted for the plea agreement. But she told the Post and Courier
newspaper in Charleston that "the goal is to get him into
federal custody so their sentence can be imposed."
The Reverend Anthony Thompson, whose wife Myra was slain by
Roof, endured weeks of graphic crime scene evidence and
wrenching testimony during the federal trial. He said on Friday
he was grateful to be spared another.
"The federal trial was very satisfactory for me," Thompson said
in a phone interview. "I'm not dealing with this anymore. I'm
not concerned with Dylann Roof. I'm praying for him and that is
(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Additional reporting by Harriet
McLeod; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Tom Brown)
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