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Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death for Charleston Church Massacre That Left Nine Dead

Dylann Roof was sentenced to death on Tuesday, January 10, nearly 19 months after he killed nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Watch the announcement of his sentencing in the video above. 

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CNN reports that a jury of 10 women and two men recommended the avowed white supremacist was guilty of all 33 federal charges he faced, including 18 charges that carried a possible death sentence, after a three-hour deliberation on Tuesday morning. Judge Richard Gergel will formally sentence Roof on Wednesday, January 11, at 9:30 a.m. ET. 

Dylann Roof
Dylann Roof is escorted from the Shelby Police Department in Shelby, North Carolina, on June 18, 2016.

Before the jury made their decision, 22-year-old Roof — who represented himself during the penalty phase — told the court in his closing argument he still feels that he “had to” kill the group of Bible-study attendees at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015.

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“In my confession to the FBI I told them that I had to do it, and obviously that’s not really true. … I didn’t have to do anything,” Roof said, per CNN. “But what I meant when I said that was, I felt like I had to do it, and I still do feel like I had to do it.”

Dylann Roof church
Memorial items line the front of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church, where Dylann Roof, a self-declared white supremacist, allegedly murdered nine black people in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 25, 2015.

Still, he suggested to the jury that he would like to receive a life sentence instead of the death penalty. “From what I’ve been told, I have a right to ask you to give me a life sentence, but I’m not sure what good that will do anyway,” Roof said. “But what I will say is only one of you has to disagree with the other jurors.”

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According to CNN, his five-minute closing argument came immediately after a prosecutor urged jurors to sentence Roof — who was convicted last month with federal murder and hate crimes charges — to death instead of a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

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