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Dylann Roof allowed to hire lawyers back, for now

This 2015 file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, shows Dylann Roof. (Uncredited / Associated Press)
This 2015 file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, shows Dylann Roof. (Uncredited / Associated Press)
By Jeffrey Collins Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. – A federal judge has allowed a white man accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners at a Charleston, South Carolina, church to hire back his lawyers, at least for the first phase of his trial.

Dylann Roof asked U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel over the weekend if he could use his attorneys during the guilt phase, but still be his own lawyer during the penalty phase. Prosecutors have asked for the death penalty.

Gergel agreed Monday, but warned Roof that he can’t change his mind again. Last Monday, the 22-year-old Roof fired his high-powered legal team and handled the selection of a pool of 67 potential jurors himself.

Authorities say Roof killed the parishioners in a racially motivated attack at the Emanuel AME Church in June 2015.

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