08:08 GMT +324 October 2019
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    Dylann Roof is pictured in this undated photo taken from his Facebook account. Roof is suspected of fatally shooting nine people at a historically black South Carolina church in Charleston on June 18, 2015

    Charleston Church Shooter Dylann Roof to Plead Guilty if Spared Execution

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    Dylann Roof, the gunman who killed nine African Americans at a church in Charleston, South Carolina in June, is ready to plead guilty if the courts spare his life, according to media reports.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Roof’s attorney said he initially planned on pleading guilty at his client’s arraignment on July 21, but the rest of the legal team advised him to wait and see whether prosecutors would seek the death penalty, Vice News reported on Wednesday.

    On September 3, prosecutors decided to seek the death penalty for Roof.

    Also on Wednesday, the US Attorney’s Office in Columbia, South Carolina sent a letter to Joseph Meek Jr., a friend of Dylann Roof, to notify him of being a "potential target" of a federal criminal investigation into the deaths of the nine African Americans.

    Meek Jr. is being investigated for allegedly lying to law enforcement, which is a felony offense.

    Following the killings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for Roof to face the death penalty.

    Related:

    Charleston Massacre Calls for 'Ultimate Punishment' -State Solicitor
    Charleston Church Shooter Roof Pleads Not Guilty to Hate Crime Charges
    Charleston Shooter Indicted on US Federal Hate Crime Charges - Attorney
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    mass killings, trial, Dylann Roof, Charleston, United States
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