Dylan Roof, the 22-year-old who walked into Emanuel AME Church and killed nine people has been convicted of all 33 charges against him. As of now, he is waiting for the jury to decide if he will simply spend his time in prison, or get the death penalty.
Roof was convicted of not only murder charges, but also federal hate crime charges after he shot churchgoers at the historic black church. He is a self-proclaimed white supremacist and confessed to his crimes. He also chose to represent himself during his trial.
This verdict was the result of a six-day trial that included a series of testimonies from the prosecution. This included survivors of the attack, Felicia Sanders and Plly Sheppard, who were at the church for bible study. Sanders' son, Tywanza was one of the nine people killed in the shooting. She was the first person called to testify against Roof, so she spoke about her last moments with her son.
"I said, 'I love you, Tywanza, i love you, Tywanza,'" she recounted. "He said, 'I love you too, mom.' Then I watched my son die. I watched him take his last breath."
Sheppard's testimony revealed that not only was she the one who called 911 during the attack, but Roof had actually found her hiding under a table. She said that Roof asked her if she had been shot, and when she replied no, he said that he would leave her alive to "tell his story."
The jury was also presented with other evidence proving Roof's guilt, including shotgun shells and image of Roof entering the church. What's more, the prosecutor presented evidence that Roof had been planning this attack for months. Not only was there evidence that Roof had called the church to inquire about the worship hours, but there was also evidence in his journals, on his websites, and a list of other black churches in the area in his car.
Currently, the jury is waiting to hear more evidence and testimony to determine what Roof’s sentence will be. If he does not receive the death penalty, he will be sentenced to life in prison.
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