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FILE - This June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof. Court documents unsealed Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, in the federal death penalty trial of Dylann Roof indicate the judge believes it's possible the white man charged with gunning down nine black parishioners may not be mentally competent to stand trial. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

A judge ruled Dylann Roof can stand death penalty trial for Charleston church shooting


Dylann Roof could face the death penalty in the killing of nine black churchgoers.

A judge has decided that 22-year-old Dylann Roof, the white man accused of killing nine African-Americans in a Charleston church last June, is competent to stand trial.

Judge Richard Gergel made the ruling Friday after a two-day hearing behind closed doors earlier this week. The hearing was needed after Roof's attorneys questioned earlier this month whether he could help them on the eve of jury selection in his death penalty trial.

Jury selection will begin Monday.

Roof was indicted on 33 counts related to the killings, some drawing on hate crime laws.

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