BREAKING: Dylann Roof has been found guilty of all 33 counts raised against him for the murder of nine black churchgoers at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, SC. The jury must now decide whether to give him death or life in prison.
A final verdict was handed down today in the federal hate crime trial of Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old who murdered nine people during a racially motivated attack on an African American church in Charleston, SC. He has been found guilty on all 33 counts of murder, attempted murder, "hate crimes resulting in death," and "obstruction of exercise of religion resulting in death," reports ABC News.
Roof is reported to have shown little emotion while the verdict was delivered. It took the jury of 12 persons a little over two hours to convict Roof on all 33 federal counts he was faced with.
After committing the massacre on the night of June 17, 2015, Roof fled in his car to North Carolina, and he was eventually tracked down in the town of Shelby early the next morning and taken into FBI custody. Upon initial questioning, Roof, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, immediately confessed to opening fire in the black church and also spoke at length on the racial motivations behind his pre-mediated attack. His videotaped confession was played for the jury last week, with no argument from the defense.
"What I did is still miniscule to what they're doing to white people every day," he told the FBI officers.
He had done extensive research on black churches in the Charleston area, and he had visited the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church a total of eight times before the attack, his first visit occurring in Dec. 22, 2014.
Now, there are only two possible fates that await Roof: life in prison or death. After a break for the holidays, the jury will reconvene on Jan. 3 to decide which punishment he shall receive. As of this time, Roof will have no defense for the upcoming portion of the trial, as he has elected to represent himself.