WASHINGTON – Dylann Roof was sentenced to death on Tuesday for the June 2015 murders of nine African Americans at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The federal court jury of nine whites and three blacks who found Roof guilty last month were unanimous in recommending the death penalty for the 22-year-old white supremacist.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel will formally sentence Roof at a hearing Wednesday morning.
Roof never denied his responsibility for the June 17, 2015, massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
He admitted to the killings shortly after he was arrested and his videotaped confession was played during the trial in Charleston.
“I had to do it because somebody had to,” Roof said. “Blacks are raping and killing white people on the streets every day... What I did is still minuscule to what they’re doing to white people every day,” the shooter told FBI agents, acknowledging that he wanted to spark a race war.
He said that he chose Emanuel AME as his target after learning it was the oldest black church in Charleston.
Gergel allowed Roof to represent himself during the penalty phase of the trial and the defendant insisted that he suffered from no mental defect.