South Carolina will seek the death penalty against the man charged in the June massacre of nine people at a Charleston church, court documents showed on Thursday.
Dylann Roof, 21, faces charges of murdering nine members of the Emanuel AME Church during a Bible study session. Roof is white and the nine slain people were black.
Roof faces additional federal hate-crime charges that also raise the possibility of a death sentence.
Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, has scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon regarding the case against Roof.
In the court filings, she wrote that “Dylann Storm Roof by his act of murder knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person in a public place.”
The death penalty decision could determine how Roof pleads. He has not entered a plea so far in the state’s murder case.
At his July 31 arraignment on separate federal hate-crime and firearms charges, his attorney said Roof wanted to plead guilty, but deferred a decision until U.S. prosecutors announced the death penalty in that case.