Joseph “Joey” Meek Jr., the friend of Charleston Church shooter, Dylan Roof, was given just over two years in federal prison Tuesday (March 21). Meek — who lied to the FBI about his knowledge Roof’s premeditated massacre — received the minimum sentence of 27 months, The New York Times reports.
“I don’t know if I will make it out of prison alive. I’m scared,” Meek told the court during the sentencing hearing.
“I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “[II] really wish I would have called the cops.”
Despite the tearful apology, Judge Richard M. Gergel of Federal District Court, ultimately decided that the 22-year-old South Carolina native deserved prison time. “The danger he exposed to the community is extraordinary,” Gergel said.
Roof revealed his plan to “put South Carolina on the map,” about a week before he killed nine black worshippers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. Roof was drunk and high on marijuana and cocaine, when he told Meek about his dreams of starting a race war.
While Meek claimed that he didn’t take the conversation “seriously,” he also hid Roof’s handgun (which he later returned).
Although Meek lied about knowing “specifics” of Roof’s intentions, he eventually admitted the truth, and confessed to discouraging another friend, Dalton Tyler, from contacting authorities after Roof carried out the shooting.
In addition to the prison sentence, Meek was given one year supervised release, and will earn credit for time served following his 2015 arrest. He is currently free on bond, but is likely to be placed in solitary confinement as a safety precaution.
Last April, Meek pleaded guilty to federal charges for failing to report a crime and making false statements, though he was only prosecuted for the latter offense.