Jury selection halted in Dylann Roof trial

FILE - In this June 19, 2015 file photo, Dylann Storm Roof appears via video before a judge, in Charleston, S.C., Friday, June 19, 2015. Roof is accused of killing nine people inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. (Centralized Bond Hearing Court via AP)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Jury selection stopped before it started in the federal case of a white man on trial for the fatal shooting of nine black members of a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel opened what was supposed to be the start of jury selection in Dylann Roof’s trial Monday by saying he had received a request from defense lawyers that demanded his immediate attention.

Gergel set the hearing for 11 a.m. Monday behind closed doors and said prosecutors would not be allowed in the hearing. The judge said anyone who objected to the closed door hearing had until 10 a.m. to make that argument.

Gergel said the hearing had to do with attorney-client privilege to protect Roof’s rights to a fair and impartial trial.

Jury selection will resume Wednesday.

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