Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old white supremacist responsible for the jarring slaughter of nine black church-goers at Emanuel AME church in Columbia, S.C., has been convicted of federal hate crimes.
He will face murder charges when his state trial begins next year.
The dramatic proceedings saw Roof take charge of his own defense, a witness speculate from the stand that he will burn in hell, and peaked when Roof’s mother had a heart attack in the courtroom as prosecutors described his gory and chilling scheme to incite a race war.
Roof faces 33 federal charges: nine counts of violating the Hate Crime Act resulting in death; three counts of violating the Hate Crime Act involving an attempt to kill; nine counts of obstruction of exercise of religion resulting in death; three counts of obstruction of exercise of religion involving an attempt to kill and use of a dangerous weapon; nine counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence. (RELATED: Families Of S.C. Church Shooting Victims Urge Forgiveness For Dylann Roof)
The jury found Roof guilty on all counts. Their deliberations lasted only a few hours in the early afternoon.
He will face the same jury early next year when sentencing proceedings begin. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. The last person put to death by the U.S. government was Louis Jones Jr. in 2003.
The victims of the attack were Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Daniel L. Simmons Sr., Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Myra Thompson, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, and Tywanza Sanders.
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