The final jury selection in Dylann Roof’s federal trial was set to take place Monday. The 22-year-old who shot and killed members of a South Carolina church in June 2015 will face both federal and state charges, CNN reported.
Roof, who is white, said he chose to shoot members at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church to start a race war. "I have no choice," Roof wrote under the section titled “An Explanation” in a 2,000 word online manifesto.
"I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me," Roof wrote
The manifesto was found in 2015 and appeared on a site called “The Last Rhodesian” which listed Roof as an administrator. On the site, were images of him standing on and burning an American flag, a photo of a .45 caliber Glock pistol, Roof aiming a gun at a sign that read "Sacred burial site. Our African ancestors" and other images.
Roof has been charged with nine counts of murder and is facing 33 federal charges. The federal case will have two phases, the first will determine whether he is innocent or guilty, and if proven guilty, the second stage will decide whether he will receive the death penalty, a sentence the U.S. Justice Department announced it would be seeking.
The exact date of the federal trial has yet to be determined. Once 12 primary jurors are chosen along with six alternates, opening statements can take place anywhere from late November to early December. Due to the upcoming holidays, several breaks may be called and the trial may continue into the New Year. The state trial is set to begin Jan. 17, 2017.