Dylann Roof pleads not guilty to federal charges in Charleston church attack

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
A website, lastrhodesian.com, registered and owned by Dylann Roof, featured a racist manifesto and mentioned Charleston, South Carolina, being chosen as the target of an attack. The website also displayed several images that appear to be Roof, the 21-year-old who shot and killed nine people during a bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.

A website, lastrhodesian.com, registered and owned by Dylann Roof, featured a racist manifesto and mentioned Charleston, South Carolina, being chosen as the target of an attack. The website also displayed several images that appear to be Roof, the 21-year-old who shot and killed nine people during a bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.

(CNN) — Dylann Roof pleaded not guilty Friday to 33 federal charges in the deadly June attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, according to the court clerk’s office.

Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted Roof on 33 counts, including federal hate crime and firearms charges, in the shooting that killed nine people.

Roof, 21, already faces a number of state charges in the shooting. South Carolina, however, doesn’t have a hate crime law, prosecutors said.

The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a former state senator who was the church pastor, was among those killed.

Roof was captured in North Carolina the day after the June 17 attack and was brought back to South Carolina. Law enforcement officials have said he admitted to the killings.

If he’s found guilty of the federal charges, Roof faces life imprisonment or the death penalty, but federal prosecutors said they haven’t decided on whether to seek the death penalty.

South Carolina authorities have provided an image on Twitter of Roof wearing a jacket with the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia, a former British colony where a white minority ruled until 1980 and whose name was changed to Zimbabwe.

Roof also had a website called “The Last Rhodesian” that included a long, hate-filled racist manifesto. The site included photos of Roof burning an American flag, taking aim with a pistol and posing proudly at places connected to the Confederacy.