Jury selection in church shootings enters new phase

Dylann Roof appears at a court hearing in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday, July 16, 2015. A judge ruled Thursday that Roof, accused of killing nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in June, will stand trial in July, 2016. (Grace Beahm/The Post and Courier via AP, Pool)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Jury selection is resuming in the federal case a white man on trial for fatally shooting nine black parishioners during a Bible study at a Charleston church last year.

Twenty-two-year-old Dylann Roof is charged with hate crimes, obstruction of religion and other counts in the shootings at Emanuel AME Church. It’s the first of two death penalty trials Roof faces stemming from the shootings.

Beginning Monday, 516 potential jurors will report back to the courthouse to be individually questioned by the judge. When 70 qualified jurors are picked, attorneys will be able to use strikes to dismiss those they don’t want.

Twelve jurors and six alternates will eventually be seated. The process could take several weeks. Court officials say opening statements may not begin until after Thanksgiving.

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