Closings expected in South Carolina church shooting trial

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Dylann Storm Roof_290094

FILE – In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. Prosecutors who wanted to show that Roof was a cruel, angry racist simply used his own words at his death penalty trial on charges he killed nine black people […]

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Jurors will likely soon be asked to decide if the man accused in the shooting deaths of nine black worshippers at a South Carolina church is guilty of federal hate crimes.

Closing arguments are expected when the jury arrives Thursday morning at Dylann Roof’s death penalty trial. The judge will hand jurors the case a short time later.

Jurors will decide if Roof is guilty or not guilty of 33 separate charges, including hate crimes and obstruction of religion charges for each of the nine people killed and three who survived the June 2015 massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston.

If they find Roof guilty, the same jurors will return Jan. 3 for the next phase of the trial to determine if he’s sentenced to death or life in prison.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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