A judge has delayed the state death-penalty trial of Dylann Roof, who is charged with killing nine people at a Charleston church last year.
According to the Post and Courier, Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson on Wednesday granted a request by Roof’s lawyers to delay the trial another five months until January while additional psychiatric testing of Roof is completed.
The defense presented information that a doctor said that he needed another 2-6 months to examine Roof. The attorneys did not explain specifics during Wednesday’s hearing, as Roof’s medical records are sealed via court order.
Nicholson said the trial will begin Jan. 17, with jury selection to begin in early December. The Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office has indicated it will seek the death penalty, despite pledges from Roof’s attorneys that their client is willing to plead guilty if they do not proceed with a capital case.
Roof also faces 33 federal charges, including hate crimes counts.