22 year old Dylann Roof, the man responsible for killing nine black worshipers in a Charleston church in 2015, has been found guilty of his crimes.
Despite admitting to killing the church members in a video taped confession, Dylann Roof plead not guilty to all charges. After two hours of deliberation, a 12 – member jury found Roof guilty of 33 federal charges which include 9 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence, 9 counts of obstruction of exercise of religion resulting in death, 9 counts of violating the Hate Crime Act resulting in death, 3 counts of violating the Hate Crime Act involving an attempt to kill, and 3 counts of obstruction of exercise of religion involving an attempt to kill and use of a dangerous weapon.
The same 12-member jury will be responsible for determining Roof’s sentencing. He will either receive life in prison or the death penalty. Roof also faces a separate murder trial where he has been charged with 9 counts of murder and other charges in the state court system. His trial in that case is scheduled to start in January.
“He needs to be held accountable for every bullet,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams told the jury Thursday. “The parishioners could not have seen the hatred in his heart. He sat and waited until they were at their most vulnerable.”