The VICE Guide to Right Now

Jury Finds Dylann Roof Guilty on All Counts in the Charleston Church Shooting

The jury deliberated for just two hours before coming back with a guilty verdict for the self-identified white supremacist.

by Lauren Messman
Dec 15 2016, 8:26pm

Dylann Roof, the self-identified white supremacist who gunned down nine black members of a Bible study in a Charleston church last June, has been convicted on all 33 federal counts—including 12 hate crimes—Reuters reports.

The jury, made up of nine white members and three black members, deliberated for just two hours before returning with a guilty verdict, AP reports. About an hour in, the jury asked if it could review a portion of Roof's chilling videotaped confession with the FBI, in which he laughs when he says, "We all know I'm guilty."

Two of the three survivors testified on the witness stand during the six-day trial and identified Roof as the shooter. According to the New York Times, a witness named Polly Sheppard explained that Roof told her he would spare her so that she could "tell the story."

Roof's defense lawyer, David Bruck, began the trial on December 7 by addressing that the 22-year-old was responsible for an "astonishing, horrible attack" at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. In closing arguments, Bruck tried to argue that Roof never understood the gravity of what he had done.

Roof plans to represent himself at his sentencing hearing on January 3, where the same jury will reconvene to decide if he should face the death penalty.


Thumbnail photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images