Roof found competent for sentencing, gets extra prep day

This June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof. The Justice Department intends to seek the death penalty against Roof, the man charged with killing nine black parishioners last year in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP, file)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Dylann Roof has been ruled competent to act as his own attorney in the sentencing phase of his death penalty trial over the killing of black worshippers at a South Carolina church.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel made the determination Monday after a daylong hearing. The judge heard about seven hours of testimony in the hearing, which was closed to the public and the media.

Roof was also granted an extra day to prepare for his case. The same jury that last month found Roof guilty of 33 federal charges will now return to court Wednesday to begin weighing if he should be sentenced to life in prison or death for the June 2015 slayings of nine black parishioners during a church Bible study in Charleston.

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