The public won’t get to hear the evidence of whether Dylann Roof is competent to face a death penalty trial in the killings of nine black people in a Charleston church, according to an order a judge issued Wednesday.
There will be interviews with Roof and evidence presented at the hearing that may not end up being allowed before the jury and that, if disclosed, could keep Roof from getting a fair trial, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel wrote.
Gergel is giving media organizations a chance to argue against his ruling Thursday afternoon. The Associated Press, the Post and Courier of Charleston, the State of Columbia, NPR and WCSC-TV have asked that the hearing be kept open along with prosecutors.
Roof’s closed competency hearing is scheduled for Monday, with Gergel scheduling jury selection to tentatively begin Nov. 28 in Roof’s federal death penalty trial if he is found competent. Roof, 22, is charged with hate crimes, obstruction of religion and other counts in federal court in the June 2015 attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
— Associated Press
Woman arrested after son, 2, shoots daughter, 1: Police have arrested a woman in Louisiana after her 1-year-old daughter was accidentally shot in the face by her 2-year-old son. Baton Rouge police said Crystal Kinchen, 23, was arrested Wednesday and faces a charge of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. Police said the shooting happened Tuesday night while Kinchen and the two children were in a car that was parked at a strip mall.
Last of Minnesota nine sentenced in terror plot: A federal judge in Minneapolis on Wednesday handed down prison terms to the final three of nine Minnesota men sentenced for plotting to travel to Syria to fight for the Islamic State group. Guled Omar, 22, was sentenced to 35 years, and Mohamed Farah, 22, and Abdirahman Daud, 22, received 30 years in prison each. Six other defendants, who pleaded guilty, were sentenced Monday and Tuesday to terms ranging from time served to 15 years, with long terms of supervised release.
— From news services