CHARLESTON, S.C., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A judge has ordered a mental competency evaluation of the man charged in the shooting deaths of nine parishioners last year at a Charleston church.
Dylann Roof, 22, is undergoing the evaluation, according to Tuesday's order.
The order, signed by Judge Richard Gergel, notes the results are expected to be reported to the court Monday. The judge has scheduled a hearing on Nov. 16 and plans to issue a ruling on his competency by Nov. 18.
This decision halted jury selection in the death penalty case until Nov. 21.
"The court is mindful that this delay in jury selection may be disappointing to some, but it is the court's duty to conduct a fair trial and follow procedures which protect the legal rights of the defendant," the order states. "Under the present circumstances, the court finds this brief delay in jury selection to serve the ends of justice."
Shortly after jury selection began Monday, Gergel stopped the proceedings and conducted a closed-door sessions hearing that included Roof and his defense team. Prosecutors and the press were not invited.
He wouldn't give details of the hearing, writing that details would infringe on attorney-client privilege and Roof's right to a fair and impartial trial.
At the time he anticipated jury selection would resume Wednesday. The courthouse was closed Tuesday because of Election Day.
Roof faces 33 federal charges in the shooting at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015, that killed nine people.
Roof had offered to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence but the deal was rejected by prosecutors, who sought the death penalty.