Roof insists on representing himself, will offer no witnesses during sentencing trial

Roof insists on representing himself, will offer no witnesses during sentencing trial

The man convicted of the deadly shooting rampage at a Charleston, South Carolina church says he won't call witnesses or offer evidence that could spare his life in the penalty phase of his murder trial.

Roof confessed to killing nine parishioners during the June 2015 attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. He was represented by a lawyer during the guilt phase of the trial but was ultimately convicted December 15 on all 33 federal charges. He also was convicted of hate crimes, obstructing religion and firearms violations.

With that said, Dylann has until opening statements next Tuesday to reappoint his attorney (s)... but it's sounding like he may actually want the death penalty at this point.

"You know my feeling on this", Gergel said. "I think that highlights my advice to you that you aren't being served by being your own counsel", the Associated Press reported.

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He also urged Roof to at least speak with his grandfather and former attorneys before reaching a final decision.

During Wednesday's hearing, prosecutors agreed to stipulate to mitigating factors including that Roof has no criminal conviction history and that he offered to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

While handcuffed and wearing a striped, white and gray jail jumpsuit, Roof addressed Gergel over several matters, including Roof's concern that parts of his mental competency hearing be made public. His former lead attorney, David Bruck, sat in the lead attorney's chair at the defense table. Roof was found guilty on all 33 counts filed against him in the first phase of the trial. They also plan to call the lead Federal Bureau of Investigation case agent to go over some of the facts heard during the guilt phase. Survivors Polly Sheppard and Felicia Sanders, who testified during the guilt phase, are expected to testify again.

Following his federal trial, Roof's state trial will begin in Charleston on January 17.

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