Charleston Shooter Gets Nine Life Sentences, Likely Ending Case
Victim's daughter tells Dylann Roof in court, "This chapter in my life...is closed. I will not open that book again. I just want to say, have mercy on your soul"
Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who shot and killed nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church in 2015, on Monday was handed nine consecutive life sentences for murder charges, on top of the federal death sentence he received in January.
Roof, 23, pleaded guilty on Monday in federal court, likely ending the proceedings nearly two years after they began. Judge J.C. Nicholson also sentenced him to an additional 90 years on top of the life imprisonments—what prosecutors called an "insurance policy" in case the other sentences are shortened or dropped, the Post and Courier reported.
He will now be transferred to federal prison and eventually death row in Terra Haute, Indiana. The plea deal was made in exchange for state prosecutors dropping their own pursuit of the death penalty against him.
Relatives of the victims spoke to Roof for possibly the last time on Monday.
"I'm the one who forgave you in the bond hearing, and I still do today," said Nadine Collier, daughter of slain parishioner Ethel Lance, referring to the proceeding days after the shooting in which the victims' families addressed Roof for the first time. "He came here to start a battle, but I win the war.... This chapter in my life...is closed. I will not open that book again."
"I just want to say," she added, "have mercy on your soul."