The defense team for Dylann Roof, the man responsible for gunning down nine black church goers in Charleston, South Carolina last year, are requesting to delay his death penalty trial, reports The Grio.
Roof’s lawyers are arguing that they need more substantial time and investigative work done. They filed court petitions stating this last Thursday. If the trial begins on July 11, as scheduled, it would ultimately not give Roof a chance at a quality defense.
“While substantial investigation and preparation remains to be done in a case that is neither factually nor legally straightforward would deny the defendant the basic tools for an adequate defense,” reads the motion signed by Public Defender Ashley Pennington and William McGuire, Roof’s other lawyer.
Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson originally set the trial date last summer for July 16, giving the parties on both ends time to prepare for the trial. Roof faces a slew of chargers including nine counts of murder, and three counts of attempted murder for the church shooting at Emanuel AME Church.
A group of 600 potential jurors are reporting to court on June 28. Once these jurors are examined and weeded out; lawyers will start questioning them by July 11. Roof’s friend Joey Meek is set to go to federal trial on June 27. Reportedly, federal prosecutors stipulate Meek did not inform investigators with all he knew about Roof’s plan for the mass shooting.
Roof faces federal charges including hate crimes. Still, prosecutors have not yet decided if they will be seeking the death penalty for the case. Further details for this case are still pending.