With accused Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof’s federal death penalty trial nearing an end, a separate judge has now indefinitely delayed his state murder case scheduled to begin later this month.
Roof’s conviction in federal court last month was not technically for any murder charges. Instead it was for various hate crimes causing death and related obstructing religion counts. He still has to go through state court to face his original murder charges filed before the Justice Department got involved.
The state case was set to be heard on Jan, 17. But Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson signed paperwork Thursday delaying any trials until further notice due to the ongoing federal case. Federal prosecutors indicated during Roof’s trial on Thursday that they plan to continue calling witnesses at least through Monday.
A federal jury will decide if Roof should be executed following his conviction or instead receive life in prison. That jury found the self-proclaimed white supremacist guilty on all 33 federal counts related to his massacre of nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
Should Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson continue the state’s prosecution, Roof will face nine murder charges, three for attempted murder and a weapons count.