Prosecution, Defense Rest in Case Against Roof
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – Prosecutors called their final witnesses in day 6 in the case against Dylann Roof.
Roof is accused of killing nine people during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston on June 17, 2015.
As his final witness, Richardson called Polly Sheppard, a survivor of the shootings.
Before Sheppard’s testimony, the medical examiner said it took her four days to complete the autopsies of the victims.
Dr. Erin Presnell said she worked through a weekend and did three autopsies the Monday after the victims were killed the Wednesday night Bible study.
Sheppard said she was at the church attending a quarterly conference and was asked to stay for the Bible study by her friend a fellow trustee at the church, Myra Thompson.
Thompson was leading the Bible study and Rev. Dr. Pinckney offered Roof a Bible and a seat next to him, Sheppard said.
That fateful day, Sheppard said she sat in the back of the room for Bible study, hoping to sneak out. When asked why she didn’t, Sheppard said of Thompson, “She kept watching me.”
On the witness stand, Sheppard recalled how when Roof began to open fire, one of the other survivors, yelled “he’s shooting.”
Sheppard spoke fondly of the victims on the stand. “She sang like an angel,” she said of Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor. She told the court that Sharonda Coleman-Singleton was working on a Ph.D. at the time of her death. “She could preach real well,” Sheppard said. Cynthia Hurd loved to read and “was just a lovely person,” while Susie Jackson sang in the choir and would do anything for you, said Sheppard.
All of the victim’s were shot at least five times, the eldest victim Susie Jackson was shot 10 times.
Sheppard found Ethel Lance’s phone covered in blood on the floor next to her and called 911, she said.
The call was played in court. In it, Sheppard can be heard sobbing and begging for help. “He’s coming. He’s coming. He’s coming. Please!” she tells the dispatcher. In the background, moaning can be heard.
The defense declined to cross-examine Sheppard.
Roof told the judge that he did not want to testify, and the defense called zero witnesses before it, too, rested.
Closing arguments are slated for Thursday, then the jury will begin deliberations.
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Our Alexis Frazier is in the courtroom and will have the latest developments on-air and online.
“He had a good heart,” Sheppard said describing Rev. Clementa Pinckney. pic.twitter.com/3se8akgLEp
— Alexis Frazier (@ALEXISV_TV) December 14, 2016