Three new attempted murder charges were handed down by a grand jury Tuesday against a man accused of killing nine people during a Charleston church’s Bible study last month.
A Charleston County grand jury returned indictments on three new attempted murder charges for 21-year-old Dylann Roof, in addition to the nine murder and one weapons count he was already facing. Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson announced the indictments Tuesday, saying each attempted murder charge was filed for the three people who survived the June 17 shooting at Emanuel AME Church.
Charleston Police have previously indicated that they believe Roof killed the nine African-American churchgoers for racially-motivated reasons, although federal investigators have not yet filed hate crime charges. South Carolina does not have a state hate crimes law. Wilson has also remained mum on questions about whether her office will seek the death penalty against Roof. However, The State newspaper reports that Columbia attorney Boyd Young, a specialist in death penalty cases, has been hired to represent the Lexington man.
Roof was given a $1 million bond last month for a weapons possession charge, but will remain in a Charleston County jail indefinitely on the murder counts.
Among the victims of the June 17 shooting was State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who served as Emanuel AME’s chaplain. Roof was arrested during a traffic stop in North Carolina less than a day after the shooting.