Judge assigned third defense attorney to Emanuel AME case

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — A third attorney will join the defense in the case of the man accused of gunning down nine black parishioners inside a downtown Charleston church. The order from Judge JC Nicholson comes after the currently appointed defense team of Ashley Pennington and William McGuire asked that the trial be pushed back from July 2016 until the fall. Nicholson denied the request, and instead assigned attorney Teresa Norris of Blume, Norris, and Franklin-Best. She has been approved for up to 500 hours of work on the case by Nicholson, according to the filing — but more hours could be added as the case goes on. Norris will also be protected from further cases under the order of protection Nicholson issued for the attorneys handling the case, meaning they will not be handed more cases until 90 days after the conclusion of the trial. The state has said it will seek the death penalty for Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old man from outside of Columbia who is accused of killing nine members of the Emanuel AME Church on June 17. After the shooting, investigators say Roof fled the state and was captured near the town of Shelby, North Carolina. He is being in isolation at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center without bond. Attorneys said during a hearing to discuss the lifting of a gag order on the case that Roof was willing to plead guilty in the case if the state removes the threat of death penalty. However, nothing further has been made public about that potential deal. Photo courtesy of Grace Beahm/Post and Courier

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