The White supremacist opened fire at a historically Black church in 2015, killing nine. His attorneys now question if he was mentally fit to stand trial.
In the summer of 2015, White supremacist neo-Nazi Dylann Roof walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina and sat through a Bible study service before pulling out a weapon and opening fire. He killed nine people, all Black, and it has been reported that he visited the church eight times prior. He was later apprehended peacefully in North Carolina and it has been stated that officers even picked up Burger King for him.
A jury would later find Roof guilty of all 33 federal charges against him and the 27-year-old has been sentenced to death, but on Tuesday (May 25), it was reported that his legal team is looking to toss out that verdict.
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It has been reported that Roof told authorities that he murdered those nine innocent people because he wanted to launch a race war, but now his legal team has stated that he was too "disconnected from reality" so his verdict should not stand.CNN reports that attorneys filed a 300-plus page motion, detailing their request.
"When Dylann Roof represented himself at his capital trial, he was a 22-year-old, ninth-grade dropout diagnosed with schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, autism, anxiety, and depression, who believed his sentence didn't matter because white nationalists would free him from prison after an impending race war," the filing reportedly reads.
They also argued that Roof didn't detail his mental health issues because he believed that he wouldn't be rescued from prison if they were revealed. The murderer has previously spoken about his heinous crime. "I would like to make it crystal clear. I do not regret what I did," Roof wrote in his journal following the killings. "I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed."