The same jury that convicted Dylann Roof in the 2015 massacre at Emanuel AME church reached a unanimous verdict on his sentence: death.
(FOX)- Roof looked down silently as the panel announced its decision in U.S. District Court in Charleston, S.C. late Tuesday afternoon.
After the jury left the courtroom, Roof asked Judge Richard Gergel for new lawyers. Gergel told Roof he could make that argument at his formal sentencing hearing Wednesday morning.
Insisting on representing himself in the sentencing phase of his trial, Roof’s court-appointed defense team, which included renowned lawyer and capital punishment opponent David Bruck, was largely sidelined.
“We want to express our sympathy to all of the families who were so grievously hurt by Dylann Roof’s actions,” Roof’s defense said in a statement. “Today’s sentencing decision means that this case will not be over for a very long time. We are sorry that, despite our best efforts, the legal proceedings have shed so little light on the reasons for this tragedy.”
Roof’s family said in a statement they will “continue to pray for the Emanuel AME families and the Charleston community.”
“We will struggle as long as we live to understand why he committed this horrible attack, which caused so much pain to so many good people,” the statement read. “We wish to express the grief we feel for the victims of his crimes, and our sympathy to the many families he has hurt.”