Jury sentences Dylann Roof to death in 2015 Charleston church massacre

This June 18, 2015, file photo, shows Dylann Roof, who confessed to shooting and killing nine black worshippers at a South Carolina church in hopes of starting a race war. A judge ruled Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, that Roof is competent to stand trial. (Charleston County Sheriff’s Office/AP file)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A federal jury has sentenced Dylann Roof to death for killing nine black church members in a racially motivated attack in 2015.

Roof, who is white, faced either life in prison or execution for the slayings on June 17, 2015. The Justice Department says he is the first person to get the death penalty for federal hate crimes.

The jury reached a decision after about three hours of deliberations.

Roof was convicted last month of all 33 federal charges against him. During sentencing, he represented himself and told jurors he didn’t have a mental illness. But he didn’t offer any remorse or ask that his life be spared.

Roof told FBI agents he wanted to bring back segregation or perhaps start a race war with the slayings.

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