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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The man accused of slaying nine black church members in Charleston will be indicted on a federal hate crime charge on Wednesday, according to an official close to the case.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the indictment hadn’t been publicly announced yet, told The Associated Press that a grand jury would indict 21-year-old Dylann Roof. The move has been expected since Roof’s arrest after the June 17 shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston.

Federal officials have previously said that the shootings generally meet the legal requirements for a hate crime and that federal charges were likely. Roof, who is white, appeared in photos waving Confederate flags, and survivors told police that he hurled racial insults during the attack.

Roof already faces state charges including nine counts of murder. State prosecutors have not said whether they’ll seek the death penalty.

Hate crime cases are often challenging for the government because it must prove that a defendant was primarily motivated by a victim’s race or religion as opposed to other factors frequently invoked by defense attorneys, such as drug addiction or mental illness.

Last year, a federal appeals court in Ohio overturned hate-crime convictions against Amish men and women accused in beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish who were thought to have defied the community leader. The court held that the jury had received incorrect instructions about how to weigh the role of religion in the attacks and that prosecutors should have had to prove that the assaults wouldn’t have happened but for religious motives.

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4 thoughts on “Dylann Roof Indicted on Federal Hate Crime Charges

  1. MARK 8:36 on said:

    I don’t see the point in spending all of the time, money, and effort to charge him with hate crimes. He already faces 9 counts of first degree murder. There is no way that he will walk away from that. He will get the chair.

  2. Prophetic Voice on said:

    He’s alive to see his trial. Sandra Bland never got the chance and her offense was far less than his. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmm.

  3. specialt757 on said:

    “…will be indicted on a federal hate crime charge on Wednesday…” as well he should, that’s no surprise, I would be surprised if he weren’t.
    What irritates me the most, by using this guy’s name in any headline new story is a disservice to those he murdered in cold-blood. He became an instant “celebrity”. Everyone knows his face and name, but can’t name but one of his victims. It’s so damn sickening and BAW at a minimum should be calling titling their articles relating to him as the COLD-BLOODED RACIST MURDERER…
    among other things.

  4. Linda on said:

    It is what it is!!!!

    This POS specifically targeted that church based on its historic significance to the African-American community-entered the church and sat amongst the congregation, then jumped up and shot/killed nine innocent people based on their color and the fact that he and his ignorant Klan believe that we are “taking over this country.”

    However, I don’t understand why his trial is being delayed until this time next year. Do they think that Black folks will have forgotten about this horrific incident by then? Hell no-we will never forget the slaughter of those people worshipping in their church!!!!

    This boy needs to be tried and convicted and given the DEATH PENALTY pdq!!!!!!!!!

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