Political News

The Latest: Judge keeps Dylann Roof transcript secret

Posted November 25

— The Latest on the murder trial of Dylann Roof in the deaths of nine African-Americans at a church in South Carolina in 2015 (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

A judge has decided against releasing the transcript of a competency hearing for a white man charged with killing nine African-American parishioners at a church in South Carolina.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Friday issued an order saying that 22-year-old Dylann Roof is fit to stand trial in the deaths at a church in Charleston in June 2015. The judge also issued a ruling that says the release of the transcript of the two-day competency hearing would jeopardize Roof's chances of a fair trial.

That decision is a reversal from an earlier statement Gergel made last week pledging to release a transcript with parts redacted that might be inadmissible at trial.

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9:50 a.m.

A judge has ruled that Dylann Roof is competent to stand trial in the deaths of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church.

Judge Richard Gergel made the ruling Friday after a two-day hearing behind closed doors earlier this week. The hearing was needed after Roof's attorneys questioned earlier this month whether he could help them on the eve of jury selection in his death penalty trial.

Gergel says jury selection will begin Monday.

Gergel sealed his reasons for finding Roof competent, saying that information could keep him from having a fair trial.

The 22-year-old white man is charged in federal court with hate crime, obstruction of religion and other counts for the deadly June 2015 attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

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