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US Jury Finds Dylann Roof Guilty of Hate Crimes in Church Shooting


Racial hatred drove white supremacist Dylann Roof, seen in this June 2015 photo, to kill nine people at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina last year.

A federal jury in the United States has Dylann Roof guilty of killing nine people at a South Carolina church in June 2015.

The white supremacist was found guilty of 33 charges, including nine hate crimes resulting in death and three hate crimes in an attempt to kill.

Government lawyers said the 22-year-old Roof targeted the black church members during a Bible study meeting. The prosecutors said Roof waited until the church members closed their eyes to pray before shooting them. They called the shooter hateful and cowardly.

Three people survived the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church.

The trial lasted a week. Jurors announced their decision after discussing the case for just two hours. The same jurors will return to the court in early January to decide if Roof should be executed or sentenced to life in prison.

I’m Caty Weaver.

Christopher Jones-Cruise wrote this story from reports by the Associated Press, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

supremacist - n. a person who believes that one group of people is better than all other groups and should have control over them​

prosecutor -​ n. a lawyer who represents the side in a court case that accuses a person of a crime and who tries to prove that the person is guilty​

cowardly -​ adv. afraid in a way that makes you unable to do what is right or expected; lacking courage

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