Attorney General To Decide If Charleston Shooter Faces Death Penalty

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Prosecutors handling the federal case against the man charged in the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a Charleston church say the decision on whether to pursue the death penalty is in its final stages.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson said Tuesday that decision is now pending before U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who will make the determination.

Richardson and attorneys for Dylann Roof were in court to discuss updates to the case. Roof was not present, and no date for his federal trial has been set.

Roof faces nine counts of murder in state court. He is charged with hate crimes and other counts in federal court. The state is seeking death in Roof’s state trial, which is set for July.

Roof is accused of killing nine people at Emanuel AME Church.

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This story has been corrected to show Richardson is an assistant U.S. attorney.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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