CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Dozens of pages of formerly sealed materials in the federal hate crimes case against condemned church shooter Dylann Roof were unsealed Tuesday night.
The documents show to some degree how expansive the federal case was against Roof, as well as the efforts made by defense attorneys to protect the 22-year-old white supremacist's rights.
The bulk of the released documents show some of the things happening inside the Charleston County Detention Center in the months immediately after Roof's arrest in June 2015.
Defense attorney David Bruck filed a motion with the court in November 2015 in an attempt to gain some degree of privacy for Roof, saying all of the inmate's mail was being taken, copied, and sent to federal investigators.
"This has been done from the time of his arrest and is documented in email exchanges beginning at least by June 22, 2015. This departure from normal policy was not disclosed to the defendant or to his attorneys until more than two months after his arrest," the filing reads.
Bruck notes a federal subpoena received by the jail in August that sought Roof's phone records, his visitor log, a copy of Roof's canteen fund that would also include who had contributed to the account, a mail log for Roof, copies of items seized from his cell, and reports created by the jail documenting Roof's stay.
Bruck asked that the court stop the subpoena and make federal investigators purge their records of anything they had received from the jail.
During Roof's trial that wrapped up earlier this month, federal prosecutors did not discuss Roof's visitors or phone calls, but did spend a considerable amount of time -- especially in the penalty phase of the trial -- documenting the writings found in Roof's cell as they showed he never showed remorse for killing nine people at Mother Emanuel AME Church.
The documents show Bruck filed a number of motions seeking information surrounding the jail. He sought details on everything from jail operations manuals to verbal and written communications concerning Roof between deputies at the jail, city police, SLED, the FBI, and the solicitor's office.
The newly released documents show federal prosecutors motioned to have sealed documents from the federal grand jury released to state investigators, who were also working on their case against Roof.
District Judge Richard Gergel granted the motion.
The documents constitute the first batch of sealed documents to be released. There are still nearly 150 more documents set to be released this week, as well as dozens more in a redacted form in the coming months.
Roof, who was sentenced to death for committing hate crimes at Emanuel AME, remains in the Charleston County Detention Center where he waits to see whether the state will move ahead with the murder case against him.
He also faces the death penalty in that case.