Lengthy jury selection in Charleston church shootings begins

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Dylann Roof faces the death penalty in the killing of 9 church members in Charleston, S.C., in 2015. | AP file photo

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The laborious process of jury selection is getting underway in the federal death penalty trial of Dylann Roof, the white man charged in the deaths of nine black parishioners gunned down during a Bible study at a Charleston, South Carolina church.

The 22-year-old Roof is charged with hate crimes and other counts in the June 17, 2015 shootings at Emanuel AME Church.

The first of hundreds of potential jurors report to the courthouse in Charleston’s historic district Monday. They will be asked to fill out questionnaires about what they know about the Roof case.

Testimony in the case being heard by U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel is not anticipated until after Thanksgiving.

Roof also stands trial next year in state court for nine counts of murder. State prosecutors are also seeking the death penalty.

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