Judge: Dylann Roof Competent to Stand Trial

Dylann Roof Declared Competent for Trial

Charleston, SC (WLTX) -- A judge has ruled that Dylann Roof is competent to stand trial in his federal death penalty case.

The decision comes after a two day closed hearing that wrapped up earlier this week. 

Roof is accused of shooting and killing nine worshippers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015. 

A court-appointed examiner named Dr. James C. Ballenger evaluated Roof. Those findings as well as testimony from the examiner, four other witnesses and three additional sworn affidavits were reviewed at the hearing.
 
A court order says that if the court finds "that the defendant is presently suffering from a mental disease or defect" that renders him "unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense," then a criminal defendant is not competent to stand trial.  
 
The test for competency is whether the defendant "has a sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding" and "has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him."

Judge Richard Gergel signed an order Friday deeming Roof competent to stand trial. 

Jury selection is scheduled to start on Monday at 9 a.m.

Judge Gergel has ordered that competency hearing transcripts will remain sealed at this time to protect Roof's right to a fair and impartial jury and a fair trial.

Previous Coverage: Jury Selection in Dylann Roof Trial Delayed

(© 2016 WLTX)


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment