The government has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty

By Steve Helling
July 31, 2015 12:35 PM
Centralized Bond Hearing Court, of Charleston, S.C./AP

Dylann Roof has pleaded not guilty to all federal charges in the allegedly racially motivated June 18 shootings at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Wearing a gray striped prison jumpsuit, Roof appeared in the courtroom with his hands shackled.

According to The Associated Press, Roof’s attorney initially told the judge that his client actually wanted to plead guilty to all counts but could not. According to the lawyer, he could not advise his client because the government hadn’t yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bristow Merchant then entered a not guilty plea on all counts.

Roof is accused of killing nine people in a mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 18. He has been charged with 33 federal counts, including several hate crimes.

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