UPDATE: Roof to be his own lawyer during penalty phase - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Roof to be his own lawyer during penalty phase

Posted: Updated:

   3:55 p.m.

Minutes after Dylann Roof was found guilty of killing nine black people in a hate crime at a Charleston church, he again told a judge he wants to represent himself as prosecutors seek a death sentence.

Roof answered a number of questions from U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel with a simple "yes" Thursday afternoon, moving his high-powered defense team to advisers.

Roof said at the start of the trial that he wanted attorneys in the guilt phase, but not in the penalty phase. His lawyers said in a court filing they fear he wants to avoid embarrassing testimony that the defense might have presented to try to get a jury to spare his life.

The penalty phase starts Jan. 3. Gergel says he will check with Roof one more time before testimony starts.

A federal jury has convicted Dylann Roof in the racially motivated slayings of nine black church members in South Carolina.

The jury reached its verdict after less than two hours of deliberations. They convicted the 22-year-old white man of hate crimes and other charges.

They will reconvene next month to decide whether he should get the death penalty or be sentenced to life in prison.

Roof just stared ahead as the verdict was read, much as he has throughout the trial.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) Jurors have reached a verdict in the federal death penalty trial of a man charged with killing nine black parishioners during Bible study at a South Carolina church.

The Jury convicts Dylann Roof in racially motivated slayings of 9 black church members in South Carolina.

The jury of nine white people and three black people deliberated less than two hours before returning a verdict. Roof faces 33 federal charges, including hate crimes and obstruction of the practice of religion.

If they find Roof guilty, the same jury will return Jan. 3 to consider if Roof should be sentenced to death for the June 2015 attack at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

He is slated to face another death penalty trial in state court early next year.

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