Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old white supremacist who was recently convicted of murdering nine black worshipers at Charleston, SC's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, addressed a packed courtroom on Wednesday, promising the jurors that "I’m not going to lie to you" during his brief remarks in the sentencing phase of his trial for the 2015 massacre.
Last month, jurors found Roof guilty of all federal charges against him. They are now tasked with determining whether he will be executed. Roof had confessed to the murders almost immediately after being caught by authorities, telling investigators in footage shown to jurors that "I went to that church in Charleston and I did it."
Roof, who is representing himself in the sentencing phase, was equally blunt on Wednesday, insisting that "there’s nothing wrong with me psychologically." Rather than discuss the shooting itself, however, Roof spent his time railing against his early legal representation—particularly efforts that were made to question his mental health.
"My lawyers made me go through two competency hearings," Roof reportedly told jurors, adding that "I trust people that I shouldn't." Earlier this week, Roof had been deemed mentally competent to face sentencing, and had been granted permission by Judge Richard Gergel to serve as his own council over the objections of his attorneys.
Roof's ended his brief remarks by asking jurors to forget "anything that my lawyer said" during the earlier trial phase.
Roof has indicated he will not call any witnesses on his behalf—a move that stands in stark contrast to the prosecution, who reportedly plan on calling up to 38 people to testify.
According to NPR, Roof stands to face further state charges in South Carolina, following the conclusion of this Federal trial. Those charges also carry the possibility of the death penalty.