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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the death penalty trial of Dylann Roof, who is charged with killing nine people during a Bible study in a Charleston church (all times local):
Dylann Roof hesitated for only moments before confessing to killing nine black people at a Charleston church as an FBI agent questioned him less than a day after the shooting.
The videotaped interview with two FBI agents was shown Friday at Roof’s death penalty trial. After standard questions about knowing his rights, FBI agent Michael Stansbury made a minute of small talk about Roof’s family, where he went to school and what he did for a living.
When Stansbury asked Roof what happened last night, he paused for about 20 seconds. Then Roof said “Uh, I did it.”
Roof was speaking calmly. A few minutes later he said he thought he killed about five people.
Prosecutors plan to show more of Roof’s two-hour confession.
Lawyers for Dylann Roof are telling the federal judge presiding over his death penalty trial they want to be able to present more evidence about his personality and state of mind.
The lawyers filed the motion Friday, and U.S. Judge Richard Gergel said he would take up the issue on a case-by-case basis before jurors began hearing testimony.
Roof’s lawyers haven’t contested that he shot and killed nine black people in a Charleston church in a racially motivated attack in June 2015.
The filing indicates Roof’s lawyers want to include evidence that might convince jurors not to seek the death penalty before they have to leave the case. If he is found guilty, Roof has said he does not want his lawyers to represent him in the penalty phase of the trial.
Prosecutors in South Carolina say they plan to play Dylann Roof’s recorded confession during his federal death penalty trial in the Charleston church shootings.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson says he plans to play the confession for jurors Friday as the trial enters a third day.
Roof is on trial on 33 federal counts, including hate crimes, in the shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. Prosecutors say Roof shot and killed nine black parishioners during Bible study there because he wanted to start a race war.
On Thursday, jurors saw stark 360-degree photographs of the crime scene in the church’s fellowship hall. They saw the victims lying in pools of blood with bullets and ammunition magazines scattered around the scene.
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