Hearing scheduled Wednesday ahead of Roof sentencing

Dylan Roof

The penalty phase of the case is scheduled to begin January 3, though U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel is giving Roof the opportunity to change his mind before then.

Roof was found guilty on all charges connected to the June 2015 shooting that claimed the lives of nine Emmanuel AME Church members as they sat in bible study. He also was convicted of hate crimes, obstructing religion and firearms violations.

Roof, who is representing himself for the final phase of his federal hate crimes trial, said in court Wednesday that he will offer opening and closing arguments but no defense.

Courts typically make public the competency hearings after a criminal proceeding has closed, Gergel said. "I think that highlights my advice to you that you aren't being served by being your own counsel", the Associated Press reported. "You know my feeling on this", Gergel advised Roof, telling him to at least confer with his grandfather and his former attorneys before barreling ahead with his plan.

During Wednesday's hearing, prosecutors agreed to stipulate to mitigating factors including that Roof has no criminal conviction history and that he offered to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

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"Well, don't do them any favors", Gergel told the defendant, who appeared in the striped uniform of the Charleston jail as well as handcuffs and leg shackles.

Attorney David Bruck and his team defended Roof in the case. Also, they also plan to call the lead Federal Bureau of Investigation case agent.

Roof did not indicate whether he planned to testify on his own behalf.

Roof elected to represent himself at the beginning of the trial, seemingly angry that his defense attorneys wanted to focus on his mental state to defend him from the death penalty.

Dylann Roof, who murdered in cold blood 9 black people in church, is one of the most despicable white supremacists in America and now he is going to get what he deserves, or does he deserve it? He also posted a racist manifesto online.

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