Jurors Cry During Victim Testimony at Dylann Roof Sentencing

In this Thursday, June 18, 2015, file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. The first jurors report to the federal courthouse in Charleston, S.C., on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 for jury screening in the federal death penalty case charging …
AP File Photo/Chuck Burton

The second day in the sentencing trial of convicted Charleston parishioner killer Dylann Roof was an emotional one for jurors who heard testimony from the families and friends that lost loved ones. Both jurors and court staff cried while hearing testimony from the victims of those murdered.

Moreover, a journal found in Roof’s jail cell contained in part: “I did what I thought would cause the biggest wave … I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed. I do feel sorry for the innocent white people killed at the hands of lower races,” WCIV reported. Lauren Knapp, a employee at the Charleston County Detention Center testified that the journal also contained anti-Semitic and racist language.

Dylann Roof, 22, faces the death penalty or life in prison.

Denise Quarles gave gut-wrenching testimony as jurors and everyone in the court listened to her, while she was crying on the witness stand, tell them how much her mother Myra Thompson meant to her, ABC News reported. They talked several times a day, and her mother would make financial sacrifices for her even though they did not have a lot of money. She still starts to dial her mother’s phone number but then she remembers that she is not there.

A long-time friend of Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Rita Whidbee, said she was going through a divorce when her friend brought her a blank check and told her to fill in the amount she needed, WCIV reported. A recording of Coleman-Singleton saying a prayer at a funeral was played sustaining Whidbee’s tears.

Bethane Middleton, the sister of Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor, said her sister was a strict mother but really loved her children. She was a woman of great faith and prayer. Now Bethane Middleton is taking care of her sister’s two youngest children.

WCIV reported that the judge presiding over the murder case said during a break that there were reports about court officials crying. Federal District Judge Richard Gergel said, the tears were a natural reaction to the emotional testimony. WCIV reported that the judge said he would be stunned if the jurors did not cry.

Breitbart Texas reported that during the first day of the sentencing phase on Wednesday, Roof, who is acting as lead counsel gave a very brief opening statement. During the five minutes that he talked to jurors, he told jurors “there’s nothing wrong with me psychologically.” He showed no remorse and did not say he was sorry for the senseless murders of the nine black worshipers.

The convicted hate crime killer’s grandparents were in the courtroom on the first day of sentencing but were not there on the second day it was reported.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.


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