New court documents show a friend of the man accused of killing nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston last summer will plead guilty to misleading investigators.
21-year-old Joey Meek will plead guilty charges of lying to authorities and failure to report a crime, according to the documents signed by prosecutors. The US Justice Department accuses Meek of not telling them all he knew of Dylann Roof’s plans last June. Meek has said Roof stayed with him in the weeks before Roof opened fire during Bible study at the historically-black Charleston church.
The Associated Press first reported the plea deal, which Meek is expected to make in federal court Friday. Prosecutors have not given specifics on how Meek lied to FBI agents.
Several news outlets interviewed Meek, a Lexington County resident, in the weeks after Roof’s attack. Meek said his friend had begun complaining that “blacks were taking over the world.” Meek had insisted he did not take Roof’s words seriously, but did tell the Washington Post last year he’d helped hide Roof’s gun when his friend drunkenly claimed he was going to “do something crazy.”
Meek’s bond was initially set at $100,000 due to previous probation violations on other charges, but it was reduced to $25,000 in November. His plea deal would require him to testify against Roof.
Roof is awaiting his own state trial that is slated to start next year. Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson has indicated she will seek the death penalty against the 22-year-old. A federal trial date is not set and the Justice Department has not decided if it will also seek the death penalty. Roof’s defense attorneys have indicated he is willing to plead guilty if prosecutors do not pursue a capital case against him.