CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A judge has denied a man’s request to introduce evidence about his state of mind during his trial for the shooting deaths of nine black people during Bible study at a South Carolina church.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled late Monday that attorneys for Dylann Roof couldn’t present that evidence during the guilt phase of his trial.
Roof’s attorneys had wanted to put up evidence related to their client’s mental health. Gergel says he’s already ruled that kind of evidence is more appropriate for the penalty phase of Roof’s trial, where jurors would decide if he’s sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.
Roof faces 33 federal charges including hate crimes and obstruction of the practice of religion. Jurors began hearing the case against him last week.