Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof to plead guilty to murder charges

FILE - In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — Convicted South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof is set to plead guilty to state murder charges to avoid a second death sentence.

Solicitor Scarlett Wilson told The Associated Press on Friday Roof is scheduled to enter a guilty plea during a hearing April 10 in Charleston. She said he will enter the plea in exchange for a sentence of life in prison.

Roof has been awaiting trial on state murder charges for the deaths of nine black parishioners at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in June 2015.

The deal won’t save Roof from a possible execution. Earlier this year, a federal jury sentenced him to death on charges including hate crimes.

Wilson had also sought the death penalty in state court. She says the deal allows Roof, who’s been in the Charleston County jail awaiting his state trial, to be transferred to federal custody.

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