A grand jury indicted Dylann Roof on federal hate crime charges, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Roof faces 33 federal charges, including 12 hate crime counts. He could face the death penalty in the federal system as a result of the charges.
Roof, a 21-year-old white man, was charged with nine counts of homicide and possession of a firearm in June, after being accused of killing nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Several days after Roof was arrested, a website that appeared to contain a collection of photos and a racist manifesto written by Roof surfaced. The site, no longer live, included Roof’s alleged justification for choosing Charleston and dozens of photos appearing to depict Roof, some of which show him posing with a Confederate flag and burning an American flag.
“I have no choice,” the writer, identified as Roof, said of choosing to attack the church in Charleston. “I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”
Read the full manifesto here.
Hate crime charges in Roof’s case had to come from the federal level, as South Carolina is one of five states that hasn’t enacted hate crime laws.
Source: Huffington Post