The Federal case against accused Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof, may have hit a road block this week. A Federal Judge has ruled that the indictment of Roof lacks a key element.
According the The Post and Courier, “U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ordered prosecutors to file a “bill of particulars,” a detailed explanation of 12 of the 33 charges against Roof in the June 2015 attack that killed nine black worshippers at Emanuel AME Church.”
Judge Gergel has stated that the indictment in its current state doesn’t thoroughly explain a key element of the crimes. Further explanation is needed regarding the religious rights charges Roof faces. It is these charges that make him eligible for the death penalty. According the The Post and Courier, “His defense attorneys said the indictment didn’t explain how the crimes were carried through the use of “interstate commerce,” a necessary component allowing the federal authorities to prosecute Roof. The indictment simply stated that Roof’s actions “were in and affected intestate commerce.””
The judge clearly feels the defense needs further explanation in order to prepare, and that the current indictment is lacking.
In addition to the religious rights charges, Roof has also been indicted on hate crimes and the use of a firearm during a violent crime.