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Judge Sets Trial for Suspect in Charleston Church Shooting

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

A judge in the southern U.S. state of South Carolina has set a trial date for the white man accused of killing nine people at an African American church in the city of Charleston last month.

During a hearing Thursday morning, Circuit Court Judge J.C. Nicholson set July 11, 2016, as the start of the trial of 21-year-old shooting suspect Dylann Roof.

Roof faces nine counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and a weapons charge for last month's shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

Roof's public defender said he will not seek any bond. Judge Nicholson said he would have denied the request anyway, calling the defendant a flight risk.

The accused man was arrested in neighboring North Carolina the day after the attack after he had fled by car.

Federal authorities are investigating the killings as a possible act of domestic terrorism, as well as a hate crime.