CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Dylann Roof has been ruled competent to stand trial and to act as his own attorney.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel made the determination Monday after a daylong hearing. The judge heard about seven hours of testimony in the hearing, which was closed to the public and the media.
Roof was also granted an extra day to prepare for his case. The same jury that last month found Roof guilty of 33 federal charges will now return to court Wednesday to begin weighing if he should be sentenced to life in prison or death for the June 2015 slayings of nine black parishioners during a Charleston church Bible study.
Sharon Risher watched every day of the trial. She lost her mother, Ethel Lance, and two of her cousins in Roof’s rampage, and she told CBS News’ Mark Strassmann in December that “if this case didn’t warrant the death penalty, then I wouldn’t know what case would have.”
Roof is set to act as his own lawyer during sentencing.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Monday ruled that Roof can’t approach witnesses or the jury during court. He’ll also be sitting in a chair farthest from the jury and victims’ family members.
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