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Dylann Roof appears at a court hearing in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday, July 16, 2015. A judge ruled Thursday that Roof, accused of killing nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in June, will stand trial in July, 2016. (Grace Beahm/The Post and Courier via AP, Pool)

A judge agreed to allow Dylann Roof to rehire his defense attorneys


UPDATE: Dec. 5, 5:44 p.m. EST 

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel agreed Monday to allow Dylann Roof to rehire his attorneys until a verdict is reached and represent himself if he is found guilty. 

Original Story 

The man accused of killing nine people at a Charleston, South Carolina, church asked a judge Sunday to reinstate his defense attorneys, at least for the first part of his federal death penalty trial. 

In a written request, Dylann Roof asked U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel to reinstate is defense team for the guilt phase of the trial, which is set to begin this week. 

"I would like to ask if my lawyers can represent me for the guilt phase of the trial only," Roof wrote. "Can you let me have them back for the guilt phase, and then let me represent myself for the sentencing phase of the trial? If you would allow that, then that is what I would like to do."

The 22-year-old faces 33 federal charges stemming from the June 2015 shooting that killed nine parishioners who were attending Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Authorities said he spared three people so they could tell the world that he killed the parishioners because he hated black peopled. 

Roof's request to reinstate his defense attorneys comes just one week after he asked Gergel for permission to represent himself. 

Gergel cautioned Roof saying, that while it's the 22-year-old's constitutional right to act as his own attorney, the decision was "very unwise." 

Roof's former defense team said they don't know why the defendant decided to represent himself but added that other capital defendants have done the same to avoid having embarrassing evidence revealed to the court. 

A hearing for Roof and prosecutors to discuss pretrial motions is scheduled for Monday and opening statements are set to begin Wednesday. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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