Roof to offer no case before sentencing in church shootings

"Don't do them any favors", the judge replied.

While handcuffed and wearing a striped, white and gray jail jumpsuit, Roof addressed Gergel over several matters, including Roof's concern that parts of his mental competency hearing be made public.

Roof confessed to killing nine parishioners during the June 2015 attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. He was represented by a lawyer during the guilt phase of the trial but was ultimately convicted December 15 on all 33 federal charges. Gergel said of Roof's grandfather, who is a lawyer.

Dylann hoped the slaughter of nine black parishioners who welcomed him into their Bible study group at Emanuel AME Church would spark a race war.

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Dylann Roof, the young man accused of committing mass murder at a Charleston church in 2015, is to offer no defense in the sentencing portion of his trial, a shocking decision that comes after Roof pledged to represent himself. Also, they also plan to call the lead Federal Bureau of Investigation case agent.

If convicted in state court, Roof will again face the death penalty. The agent, Joseph Hamski, proved key in tying together the various elements of the government's case, walking the jurors through a timeline of Roof's scouting and preparation for the church massacre.

But "representing himself" is a loose term to use here as so far, Roof has offered no real defense of himself. Court documents and statements indicate the capital defenders had sought to present psychologists and psychiatrists who would testify that Roof suffers from an undisclosed mental defect. The state trial is scheduled to get underway on January 17.

There also was argument from Roof about mystery evidence, like a photograph prosecutors want to show and video from jailhouse visits. He, the judge and Richardson stayed clear of stating exactly what that piece of evidence was, leaving it a mystery for now as the case moves toward its conclusion.

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