Judge orders evaluation of Dylann Roof before sentencing

Dylann Roof
FILE - This June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof. A South Carolina prosecutor said Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, that she will seek the death penalty for Roof, who is charged with killing nine black churchgoers in Charleston. Roof also faces federal charges including hate crimes. Prosecutors in that case have not said if they will pursue the death penalty. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A judge has ordered another competency exam for Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, who faces the death penalty for killing nine black parishioners last year.

Federal Judge Richard Gergel ordered another evaluation of Roof “in an abundance of caution.” But the judge said Thursday that he finds no reason to delay or cancel the trial’s sentencing phase, set to begin Tuesday. Roof, who is white, intends to represent himself.

A jury found Roof guilty Dec. 15 on 33 counts, including hate crimes and obstruction of religion.

Gergel’s order says Roof will be evaluated over the weekend at the Charleston County jail.

The judge says he will rule on Roof’s competency Monday, following a hearing. He’s again considering closing the hearing, as he has before over the prosecution’s objections.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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