Judge asked to change mind on closed Dylann Roof hearing

A federal judge will hear arguments on whether he should change his mind and open to the public a hearing on whether Dylann Roof is competent to stand trial for killing nine black worshippers in a Charleston church.

Judge Richard Gergel will hear from lawyers hired by The Associated Press and other media outlets at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Gergel ruled Wednesday that Roof’s competency hearing next week should be closed because statements from Roof and other evidence from the hearing could prevent potential jurors from giving him a fair trial.

Roof’s attorneys questioned his ability to help them at his death penalty trial on the eve of jury selection earlier this month.

Gergel has tentatively ruled he’ll begin jury selection Nov. 28 if Roof is found competent.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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