The Latest: Prosecutors recall bloody church massacre scene


CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the federal sentencing trial of convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof (all times local):

10:05 a.m.

Prosecutors have begun closing arguments in Dylann Roof’s sentencing by reminding jurors about the bloody crime at a Charleston church where Roof killed nine people.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson recalled testimony from one of the massacre’s survivors, who said Roof said he’d leave her alive so she could tell the world what happened.

He reminded jurors of how survivor Felicia Sanders saw her son Tywanza slain as he lay next to her, his blood seeping out onto the floor.

Richardson has said he’ll likely take around two hours to close out the government’s argument as to why Roof should be executed for his crimes in 2015. Jurors are expected to begin their deliberations later Tuesday.

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9:45 a.m.

Prosecutors say they will take about two hours to close out their argument as to why Dylann Roof should be executed for slaying nine people at a South Carolina church.

Closing arguments are being made Tuesday morning in Roof’s federal sentencing trial. This is the last chance for prosecutors to make their case as to why he should be sentenced to death over life in prison.

Federal prosecutors wrapped up their case Monday with relatives of the youngest victim to die in the June 2015 attack on a Bible study group at Emanuel AME Church. Roof is representing himself and introduced no witnesses or testimony in his own defense.

Jurors will get the case after closings and their charge instructions.

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3:20 a.m.

The fate of convicted church shooter Dylann Roof will soon rest in the hands of the 12 jurors considering sentencing in his federal trial.

The same jury last month convicted Roof of 33 federal crimes, including hate crimes and obstruction of religion, in his June 2015 assault on a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church that left nine black parishioners dead.

After a holiday break, jurors returned last week to court, where prosecutors laid out their case for why Roof should be executed.

Jurors will get the case after closing arguments Tuesday morning from prosecutors and perhaps Roof, who has represented himself during sentencing but has put up no fight for his life. The 22-year-old didn’t call any witnesses, present any evidence and so far has not asked for mercy.

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