Dylann Roof appeared in court in July, 2015 in connection with the shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME Church. (Source: Live 5)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -
Jury selection that was to have resumed on Wednesday has been suspended until Nov. 21 in the federal trial against the accused Charleston church shooter.
Court documents released Tuesday state Dylann Roof will undergo a competency evaluation. Roof faces a total of 33 federal charges in the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015.
The order, signed by Judge Richard Gergel, states the evaluation is now underway and the results are expected to be reported to the court on Monday. The court will then conduct a hearing on Nov. 16 and Gergel will then issue a ruling on the competency issue on or before Nov. 18.
"The Court is mindful that this delay in jury selection may be disappointing to some, but it is the Court's duty to conduct a fair trial and follow procedures which protect the legal rights of the Defendant. Under the present circumstances, the Court finds this brief delay in jury selection to serve the ends of justice," the order states.
Jury selection began on Monday, but the process ended almost as quickly as it began when Gergel said a last-minute motion required his immediate attention. He scheduled a closed-door motion hearing later that morning that included Roof and his defense team, but was closed to prosecutors and the public.
Gergel said later on Monday he anticipated jury selection would resume Wednesday. Court was not in session Tuesday because of Election Day.