The Latest: Objections to closed church shooting hearing




CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on objections made to closing a hearing in South Carolina church shootings trial (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

A federal judge is weighing objections from news organizations to closing a hearing in the Charleston church shootings trial.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel heard arguments Wednesday from attorneys representing The Post and Courier and WCBD-TV.

The defense wants to keep some evidence out of Dylann Roof's federal death penalty trial stemming from the June 2015 shootings at Emanuel AME Church that killed nine people. Roof is charged with hate crimes and other charges.

A hearing on the evidence is set for Thursday and Gergel has proposed closing it. He says revealing evidence in an open hearing could interfere with seating an impartial jury.

Gergel says he must weigh constitutional guarantees of a free press against Roof's right to a fair trial. He plans to issue a decision later Wednesday.

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4:15 a.m.

A federal judge in South Carolina will hear objections from news organizations to closing a hearing in the Charleston church shootings trial.

The defense wants to keep some evidence out of Dylann Roof's federal death penalty trial on hate crimes and other counts stemming from the June 2015 assault that killed nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel has proposed reviewing the evidence this week in a closed hearing, saying that revealing it beforehand could interfere with seating an impartial jury.

On Wednesday he hears objections from attorneys representing The Post and Courier newspaper and WCBD-TV.

Attorney Jay Bender represents the newspaper and says that instead of closing the hearing, the evidence issue can be handled by close questioning of potential jurors before the trial that begins in November.
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