Dylann Roof’s mother suffered a heart attack not long after prosecutors described how her son planned a cold and calculated killing of nine black church members in a racially motivated attack, his attorney said in court documents Thursday.
The victims — including the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a church pastor and a member of the South Carolina Senate — ran for cover, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson, as each magazine was emptied and shell casings tumbled across the parish hall. Then Roof “reloaded … standing over victims, and he kept shooting and shooting,” Richardson said.
“In the defense’s opening statement, attorney David Bruck said ‘there is not a great deal to dispute’ and both he and [the lead prosecutor] expected the jury would find Roof guilty,” according to the Associated Press. “The defense has said repeatedly in federal and state court that Roof would be willing to plead guilty if capital punishment was taken off the table.”