In this Thursday, June 18, 2015, file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. The families of some of the nine people killed in a South Carolina church are suing the FBI. Their lawsuit accuses the federal government of errors that enabled Dylann Roof to buy the .45-caliber handgun used in the June 2015 shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
Photo: AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File
Photo: AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File

Alleged Charleston church shooter to argue mental illness

Attorneys filed a notice Monday that they plan to introduce the evidence during the sentencing phase of Dylann Roof's federal trial.

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The 22-year-old Roof stands trial in federal court in November for hate crimes and other charges in the June 2015 shootings at the church. He also faces nine murder charges in state court in a death-penalty trial set for January.

There is a hearing in the state case on Wednesday and a hearing in the federal case next week.

Judge to weigh moving up trial of church shooting defendant

A judge is considering whether Charleston church shooting defendant Dylann Roof should go to trial in state court before his federal trial.

His state trial on murder charges is currently set for January but prosecutor Scarlett Wilson wants the state to try Roof before his November federal trial on hate crimes and other counts.

Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson has called a hearing later Wednesday on the matter.

Public Defender Ashley Pennington has called Wilson's request to move up the state trial "reckless and shortsighted."

The 22-year-old defendant faces the death penalty in both state and federal court in the June 2015 shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at the Emanuel AME church.

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