'Sentence this defendant to death' for killing Emanuel 9, says prosecutor

posted by Sam Tyson, WCIV - 

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson spent two hours reminding jurors of the weeks of testimony they heard before asking them to sentence convicted church shooter Dylann Roof to death.

Telling the jury the aggravating factors in the case "demand the death penalty," Richardson said Roof's racially motivated actions created widespread loss in nine different families and in the Charleston community.

ABC News 4 has a team of journalists covering the developments in the federal trial. For those reading from the smartphone app, click here to see the live blog.

He described the victims and the roles they played in their communities as well as in their families. He told the jury to keep in mind Roof was not a drunken driver who swerved into oncoming traffic and killed people -- this was targeted.

"He chose these great people. He went there hoping to find the best among us. And he did indeed find them," Richardson said.

The lead attorney on the case explained how the jury needs to apply the law and weigh the aggravating and mitigating factors. He also said each one of the mitigating factors alone far outweighed the mitigation.

But he reminded the jury, all of the aggravating factors are true.

"This was adult planning. This is adult action. There are adult-sized consequences," he said.

Roof spent the early part of the day before the jury arrived writing in a notepad. He will present his closing argument once the jury returns from a break.

Deliberations are expected to start around lunchtime on Tuesday. The process begins after four days of gut-wrenching testimony in which jurors heard from family and friends of the victims who all said they felt a void without their loved ones.

The same jury convicted Roof of committing hate crimes and crimes against religious practice for the shooting in the fellowship hall at Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston on June 15, 2015. The shooting claimed the lives of nine parishioners.

Prosecutors have shown Roof's actions stemmed from his racist views that whites are the superior race and that blacks, Hispanics, and Jews were threatening their way of life.

An FBI agent who investigated the case showed Roof even drew racist symbols on the shoes he wore to church as recently as last week.

The jury returned a guilty verdict in less than two hours before the Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Tear's holidays.

Roof also faces the death penalty in state court. But that case has been delayed indefinitely while the federal case continues.

The trial was supposed to start Jan 17

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