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Accused US Church Shooter Wants to Know Evidence Against Him

  • Associated Press

Dylann Roof appears at a court hearing in Charleston, South Carolina, July 16, 2015.

Dylann Roof appears at a court hearing in Charleston, South Carolina, July 16, 2015.

The white man accused of shooting dead nine black people at a South Carolina church wants to know how the federal government plans to lay out any evidence against him.

Dylann Roof, 21, faces dozens of federal charges, including hate crimes, related to the June 17 killings in Charleston. The attack led the U.S. South to reconsider the Civil War-era symbols that many people have long defended as part of a proud heritage, despite protests that they also echoed a history of slavery and segregation.

Attorneys for Roof filed motions in federal court Monday seeking access to any statements their client has made to authorities since his arrest. In what are essentially routine filings, they also asked for any physical evidence collected in the case against their client and summaries of any proposed expert witnesses expected to testify on behalf of the government.

Roof also faces murder, attempted murder and weapons charges in state court. Prosecutors in both jurisdictions have not yet said if they will seek the death penalty.

Roof, who has entered no plea in state court, formally pleaded not guilty last week to the federal charges. During a brief hearing, his attorneys in that case said their client wants to plead guilty but that they couldn't advise him to do so until federal prosecutors announced their decision on possibly pursuing the death penalty.

There is no set deadline by which prosecutors must announce their intent.

Federal attorneys have until August 20 to file motions in that case, and no trial date has been set. Roof's trial on the state charges against him has been tentatively set for July 11, 2016.

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