Roof competency hearing will determine if trial can continue

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) " A closed hearing on the competency of Dylann Roof to stand trial in the killing of nine black worshippers at a Charleston, South Carolina, church is planned in federal court.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel recently ruled that Monday's scheduled hearing would remain closed despite pleas from family members of the slain and arguments from the media that it should be open.

Gergel says he's concerned anything said at the hearing could be seen by potential jurors and taint their view of the defendant. The hearing's expected to include extensive statements made by Roof that might not be allowed at his death penalty trial.

Gergel says he'll issue a ruling on whether the trial can continue later this week in connection with the June 2015 attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 10 Dec 2016 19:50:01 Processing Time: 341ms