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Death Penalty to Be Sought in Charleston Shootings

  • VOA News

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

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

The white man accused of murdering nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, will face the death penalty.

Dylann Roof, 21, faces multiple charges including nine counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and a weapons charge in the June 17 shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Roof also has been indicted separately on 33 federal hate crime charges, some of which are punishable by the death penalty.

State Solicitor Scarlett Wilson called Roof's actions "the ultimate crime that deserved the ultimate punishment," and said that while she took into account the desire of some victims' family members for forgiveness, she "appreciated that they all respected her decision to seek the death penalty."

Days after the massacre, authorities confirmed that Roof had posted a racist manifesto on his website, filled with racial stereotypes and diatribes against black, Jewish and Hispanic people.

The site also was filled with photos of Roof holding a .45-caliber Glock pistol and a Confederate flag.

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