Roof must deal with judge after firing lawyers

South Carolina News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A federal judge has made clear he wants to hear directly from the white man representing himself in the fatal shooting of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said Tuesday he wants Dylann Roof to address him directly in court, not via his standby counsel.

The judge on Monday approved Roof’s request to act as his own lawyer while keeping his defense team ready to advise him.

Capital defense expert David Bruck said he wants to act on Roof’s behalf at times, particularly when dealing with prosecutors’ motions.

But the judge said that might enable Roof to complain on appeal that the lawyers he fired had done too much.

The exchange came before Gergel began questioning two dozen more prospective jurors.

Roof faces the death penalty if convicted of dozens of charges in the June 2015 attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

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