CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — After waiving extradition in North Carolina, Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old accused of shooting and killing nine people inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston Wednesday night, has been cleared to return to South Carolina.
Roof has so far been charged with one count of murder in the grisly attack and other charges are pending. Under South Carolina law, a not guilty plea is presumed.
Roof will be held at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center in Charleston, where he cannot be let out on bond. He will have a preliminary hearing in a few weeks—unless he waives it—and then the case will go to a grand jury.
According to ABC News, experts say Roof’s case could last six months—especially if he pleads guilty—or closer to three years if the death penalty is pursued. South Carolina has performed the ninth-highest number of executions in the nation—43 since 1976.
Though the U.S. Department of Justice has launched a hate crime investigation into Wednesday night’s shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, there is no hate crime law in the state of South Carolina. Roof could face civil rights violations and hate crime charges under federal law.
Josh Margolin, a federal official involved in the case, says it has not yet been determined which jurisdiction Roof will face charges in. The alleged gunman’s mental state will be a key factor in the decision.