Charleston shooter lawyer: Racist delusion showed incapacity

South Carolina News

FILE – In this Monday, April 10, 2017 file photo, Dylann Roof arrives to a courtroom at the Charleston County Judicial Center in Charleston, S.C., to enter his guilty plea on murder charges. The white supremacist church shooter staged a hunger strike in February 2020 while on federal death row, alleging in letters to The Associated Press that he’s been “targeted by staff,” “verbally harassed and abused without cause” and “treated disproportionately harsh.” (Grace Beahm/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — His attorneys argue the “delusional belief” of the man on federal death row for the racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation should have meant he couldn’t represent himself at trial.

Attorneys for Dylann Roof told an appeals court Tuesday that Roof’s theory that he’d be saved by white nationalists — but only if he kept mental health evidence out of his defense — should have shown his trial judge he wasn’t competent.

Roof is on federal death row for the 2015 slayings at Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston.

The federal government says he was properly found competent and should stay on death row.

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