$1M bond set for Charleston shooting suspect

Dylann Roof
Dylann Roof appears via video before a judge in North Charleston, S.C, on Friday, June 19, 2015. The 21-year-old man accused of killing nine people inside a black church in Charleston made his first court appearance Friday, with the relatives of all the victims making tearful statements. (Centralized Bond Hearing Court, of Charleston, S.C. via AP, Pool)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (MEDIA GENERAL) – While Charleston, South Carolina, mourns following a church shooting that left nine dead Wednesday, June 17, 2015, the legal process moves on for suspected killer Dylann Roof.

A $1 million bond has been set for the 21-year-old, who’s accused of fatally shooting nine people at a black church in Charleston.

A magistrate judge set the bond for a weapons charge, but doesn’t have the authority to set bond on the nine murder counts that Roof faces. A circuit judge will decide that at a later date.

Roof appeared by video, staring straight ahead as five victims’ family members gave statements, some of them saying “hate won’t win.” Roof displayed no reaction as they told him they would have mercy on him and that they forgave him.

The judge set the bond with the understanding that Roof will be held until his bond hearing on the murder charges.

Authorities say Roof opened fire at a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday night. He was at the prayer meeting for about an hour before he started firing.

Roof, who was on the lam for approximately 14 hours after the killings at Emanuel AME Church, was apprehended late Thursday morning in Shelby, North Carolina, and was extradited back to Charleston late Thursday. View a gallery of images here

It has yet to be established whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Roof, which is legal in South Carolina.

If Roof is sentenced with the death penalty, one family member has stepped forward to “press the button.”

Carson Cowles, Roof’s uncle, told ABC News he is disgusted with his nephew’s actions.

“I’ll be the one to push the button. If he’s found guilty, I’ll be the one to push the button myself,” Cowles said. “If what I am hearing is true, he needs to pay for it.”

Maj. Eric Watson, spokesperson for the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, said Roof currently is in custody at the Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston. Due to the high-profile nature of the crime, Roof will not have contact with the general jail population. Also, due to the nature of the crime and past comments made to other people, Roof has been placed on suicide watch.

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s