A Black man is accused of trying to kill 10 white churchgoers to avenge the June 2015 domestic terrorist attack on the historically Black church in South Carolina.
On Monday, Nashville Deputy District Attorney Amy Hunter said in her opening statement that 27-year-old suspect Emanuel Samson referenced and used white supremacist Dylann Roof’s mass shooting as a reason to carry out his attack on Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, according to a note found in his car outside the church home. Samson allegedly killed a woman and wounded seven other people at the Nashville church.
“Dylann Roof is less than nothing,” the note read, Hunter said. “The blood that 10 of your kind will shed is that of the color upon the RBG [Pan-African] flag in terms of vengeance.” The note included an expletive and ended with a smiley face, Hunter said. “This state will prove beyond all reasonable doubt that on Sept. 24, 2017, this defendant, Emanuel Kidega Samson, went to the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ with the intent to murder a minimum of 10 white churchgoers on that day,” Hunter said. “You won’t have to take the state’s word for it, though.”
However, Samson’s attorney, Jennifer Lynn Thompson, said Sampson actually wanted to take his own life, which is why there was a suicide note left for his girlfriend as well as a goodbye video that was sent to his cousin. “What this case is about is a man who was very sad, very suicidal, and he was looking to die that day,” Thompson told jurors Monday.
Fox reports prosecutors are seeking life without parole; Samson faces a 43-count indictment, including a first-degree murder charge.