A judge has finished picking the 67 people who will make up the jury pool for Dylann Roof’s death penalty trial in the killing of nine black people at a Charleston church.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel, prosecutors and Roof, acting as his own attorney, spent this week picking jurors who could be open-minded about imposing the death penalty if Roof is found guilty.
A pretrial hearing will be held Monday, and the final panel of 12 jurors and six alternates will be selected Wednesday, with testimony beginning soon after.
The trial is expected to last until January with a break over Christmas.
Meanwhile, defense attorneys dismissed by Roof say they want to get back on the case.
The lawyers filed a motion Friday expressing concern that Roof may not present evidence that could sway a jury to spare his life.
The lawyers said they did not know why Roof wanted to represent himself but added that other defendants in capital cases have fired their lawyers because to avoid having embarrassing evidence revealed.
The motion calls Roof an “untrained layperson” and a “ninth-grade dropout.”
Roof, who is white, is charged in federal court with hate crimes in the shootings of nine people during a June 2015 Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.