Charleston church killer pleads not guilty to 33 counts

A grand jury had indicted him on 33 counts which included federal hate crime and firearms charges. This is separate from the number of state charges against him.

Dylan Roof killed nine people at a black church in Charleston on June 17, 2015.

Dylann Roof,the 21-year-old who gunned down nine people in June at a black church in South Carolina, United States, has pleaded not guilty to the 33 federal charges brought against him.

According to the court clerk's office, he pleaded not guilty to the offences on Friday, July 31.

Roof opened fire at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on June 17, leaving nine dead including a former state senator and also  the church pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

The young man faces life imprisonment or death sentence if found guilty.

Prior to the attack, Roof had a website called "The Last Rhodesian" that included a long, hate-filled racist manifesto. The site included photos of him burning an American flag, taking aim with a pistol and posing proudly at places connected to the Confederacy.

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