Dylann Roof charged with federal hate crimes in Charleston church massacre

Mr Roof already faces nine counts of murder

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The Independent US

Dylann Roof, the man who has confessed to killing nine parishioners last month in Charleston, has been charged with federal hate crimes, according to an indictment released Wednesday.

The Associated Press reported that a grand jury would indict Mr Roof in a move that has been pending since the 17 June shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

See the indictment here. He was indicted on 33 counts.

Mr Roof was charged with nine counts of hate crime act resulting in death, three counts of hate crime act involving an attempt to kill, nine counts of obstruction of exercise of religion resulting in death, three counts of obstruction of exercise of religion involving an attempt to kill and use of a dangerous weapon and nine counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Mr Roof, who is white, is charged with killing nine black church-goers after sitting with them in Bible study for about an hour.

Mr Roof already has been charged with nine counts of murder in South Carolina, but the federal hate crime charge - if he is convicted - would intensify punishment.

State prosecutors have not said whether they will pursue the death penalty in this case.

Federal officials have already indicated the hate crime charge was likely to be levied. Survivors of the shooting say that Mr Roof used racial insults during the massacre.

He also has since surfaced in a number of photos wearing white-supremacist patches on his clothing and waving the Confederate flag.

 

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