CHARLESTON, N.C. -- Day two of the historic trial of accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof ended around 5:30 Thursday with new disturbing evidence submitted by the prosecution.
The morning began with Roof’s attorneys filing for a mistrial after surviving victim Felicia Sanders called Roof “evil” in her testimony Wednesday.
“There’s a certain extent to which people can offer their opinion when they’re testifying about someone,” said attorney Miranda Mills with Charlotte’s Roberts Law Group.
“This person offered an improper opinion and that would prejudice Roof long term for the trial. All the jurors heard that opinion and it might be something they’d likely give a lot of weight to even when they’re not supposed to.”
The judge denied the request for a mistrial which would have meant the whole trial would start over with 12 new jurors.
As court proceeded as planned, the prosecution submitted new disturbingly graphic evidence, including video and photos of the victims who were killed.
Law enforcement officials who responded to the scene also testified, including two officers with the Shelby Police Department. Those officers described pulling Roof over, seeing a gun under a pillow in the car, and arresting him.
The defense cross-examined the officers, asking about Roof’s demeanor during that traffic stop.
Legal experts are eager to see what happens in the sentencing phase of the trial, during which Roof still plans to represent himself.
“He will be allowed to cross-examine witnesses,” Mills said. “He will be allowed to make closing arguments to the jury as to why he should or should not receive the death penalty.”
On Friday, the prosecution plans to play a three-hour video of a conversation between Roof and the FBI, in which they say Roof confesses to the murders, claiming he wanted to start a race war.