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Roof was charged with nine counts of murder, and the current governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley tried to push for his execution. On December 15, 2016, Roof was found guilty of all 33 federal hate crime charges against him and was later sentenced to death on January 10, 2017. On March 31, 2017, Roof agreed to plead guilty in state court and escaped death sentence and was instead sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
Roof was born in Columbia, South Carolina. His father, Franklin Bennett, divorced his stepmother, Paige Mann, ten years prior to the shooting at the Charleston church. Roof went to several schools, but he eventually dropped out, and he took to playing video games and doing drugs. He also alternated between living with Bennett and with Mann.
According to a former high school classmate of Roof's, he had several friends who were black, and he never expressed any disdain for them. However, it was believed that Roof had been planning something like the upcoming shooting for months.
Charleston church shooting
On the evening of June 17, 2015, a mass shooting broke out in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a routine bible study. The shooter, later identified as Roof, apparently lived in Eastover at the time of the attack.
On June 20, 2015, three days after the shooting, a website called The Last Rhodesian was discovered and was later confirmed to be owned by Roof.