Dylann Roof says he’ll deliver opening statement during death penalty phase of trial
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Dylann Roof, the admitted white supremacist who could face the death penalty for killing nine black churchgoers, was back in court Wednesday morning.
He told a federal judge he still plans to represent himself at the penalty phase of his trial, which starts Tuesday. He said would make an opening statement but would call no witnesses or present any evidence.
The judge said prosecutors have submitted the names of 38 potential witnesses.
Roof confessed to the killings and was convicted December 15 on all 33 charges in the June 2015 shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was represented by a lawyer during the guilt phase of the trial.
On Wednesday, he was in court for a scheduled hearing.
“First of all if I can … I do intend to do an opening statement after theirs,” Roof said, after the judge said prosecutors would give an opening statement first.
His lawyers have challenged the federal death penalty.
The same jury that convicted him will decide his fate.