UPDATE: 11:05 a.m. EDT — The South Carolina death penalty trial for accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof has been pushed back from July to January 2017, reported Andrew Knapp of the Charleston Post and Courier. The decision came Wednesday during a hearing about a request for a delay from Roof's attorneys, who argued they had not been given enough time to mount a proper defense.

The new trial date is Jan. 17, Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson reportedly citing an "incomplete psychiatric evaluation on Roof." The 22-year-old man is charged with nine counts of murder in last year's purportedly racially motivated killing of nine parishioners participating in a Bible study at the historic black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Original story:

The defense attorneys for alleged Charleston, South Carolina, church shooter Dylann Roof have asked a state judge for a delay in the death penalty trial, according to the Associated Press. The judge in the case is expected to make a decision on the request Wednesday.

Roof is charged with nine counts of murder in last year's killing of nine worshippers participating in a Bible study at the historic black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

The defense attorneys argue they don't have enough time to mount a proper defense with the current state trial date of July 11. Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson set the trial date last summer, allowing both the prosecution and defense less than a year to prepare. The 600-person jury pool is slated to report June 28 for initial screenings, while the questioning/seating of individual jurors is set for July 11.

The defense attorneys have not requested a specific new date for the trial, rather saying they needed “additional time for adequate preparation,” according to the Charleston Post and Courier.

 

The paper reported that Roof's attorneys have said in past hearings that the 22-year-old is willing to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. There has been little dispute that he was the young white man who carried out the shootings after sitting in the church Bible study for about an hour. He reportedly confessed to the shootings shortly after being arrested.

Officials have said it was a racially motivated act after a rambling and radical manifesto surfaced online, purportedly posted by Roof before the shooting. If convicted at the South Carolina judicial center, jurors will then hear testimony about Roof during the death penalty phase and recommend whether he should be executed.

Meanwhile, the federal case for Roof, where he faces 33 charges, has been delayed as prosecutors decide if they should pursue the death penalty.