CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — After four days of testimony, prosecutors rested their death penalty case Monday against convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, calling more than two dozen people during the trial’s penalty phase.
Most of the testimony consisted of heartwarming stories about each of the nine people Roof killed in the 2015 attack at Emanuel AME Church. Witnesses also talked about the heartrending tales of loss in the wake of the deaths.
Roof, 22, was convicted last month on 33 federal charges, including hate crimes and obstruction of religion. The same jury that found him guilty has been back in court this month, tasked with deciding if he gets the death penalty or life in prison.
As he promised earlier in the trial, Roof — who is representing himself — rested his case without calling witnesses or presenting any evidence on his own behalf.
Survivor Felicia Sanders, who also gave powerful testimony during the guilt phase of Roof’s trial, wrapped up prosecutors’ case at sentencing, talking about her creative, 26-year-old son, the youngest victim, and his commitment to his faith and Emanuel.
“That night they were getting basic instruction before leaving Earth,” Sanders said. “I did not know that was going to be the life of them.”