Dylann Roof, the gunman accused of killing nine African-American parishioners last year in Charleston, S.C., was attacked outside of his jail cell Thursday.
Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon Jr. said Roof was on his way to the shower when we was physically assaulted by another inmate, 25-year-old Dwayne Stafford. Roof has protective custody around him, given the nature of his crimes, but the guard who was in the area had left to retrieve something for another prisoner. Stafford used this moment of opportunity to run out of his cell and attack Roof.
“The injuries that Roof received are relatively minor — some bruising around the face and the back,” Cannon said. “It appears he was struck with a fist and nothing more serious than that. The detention officer responded quickly and separated the two.”
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Stafford has been charged with assault, but Roof made it known he did not want to press charges. The sheriff seemed more concerned with the fact that security officers had violated protocol, and no one had checked to make sure Stafford’s door was securely locked.
“We do things day in and day out and they become routine and as a result of that, (officers) become complacent,” Cannon said.
Roof currently faces capital punishment and has been charged with 33 federal offenses. His attorneys filed a legal charge against the death penalty, claiming it’s unconstitutional. They hope to reach a deal with prosecutors in which Roof will plead guilty and serve a life sentence without the option for parole.
His state court trial is set for next year.
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