Dylann Roof wants to fire 'biological enemy' attorneys

By Allen Cone  |  Sept. 19, 2017 at 1:58 PM
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Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Dylann Roof, sentenced to death for killing nine worshippers at a historically black South Carolina church two years ago, said he wants to fire his appellate lawyers because they are "biological enemies."

"This is a motion to dismiss and replace my currently appointed counsel due to a conflict of interest," Roof wrote in a handwritten letter filed Monday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.

Roof's letter was mailed from the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., where he is on death row for the 2015 mass killing.

"My two currently appointed attorneys ... are Jewish and Indian respectively," Roof wrote. "It is therefore quite literally impossible that they and I could have the same interests relating to my case. It is also a barrier to effective communications."

The self-described white supremacist added, "Because of my political views, which are arguably religious, it will be impossible for me to trust two attorneys that are my political and biological enemies."

In the letter, he also noted the lawyer appointed in the federal trial, David Isaac Bruck, was Jewish.

"His ethnicity was a constant source of conflict even with my constant efforts to look past it," Roof wrote.

Roof represented himself at the sentencing portion of his trial.

Last January, a federal jury recommended he be executed after finding him guilty in the two-week trial. He later pleaded guilty to murder charges in South Carolina state court.

On June 17, 2015, Roof attended a prayer meeting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. After sitting among them for nearly an hour, Roof opened fire during prayer. Charleston is 120 miles from the Columbia area, where Roof lived.

During the trial, Bruck argued that hateful online rhetoric influenced his views.

Roof told Bruck that "if he gets out of jail, he plans to come to Mr. Bruck's house and kill him," according to an affidavit filed by the defense team.

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