A federal magistrate entered not guilty pleas on 33 federal charges, including for hate crimes, for a white man accused of gunning down nine parishioners at a black church in Charleston.
An attorney for Dylann Roof told US Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant that his client wanted to enter a plea of guilty to all the counts.
But the lawyer said that because the government has not decided whether to seek the death penalty on some of the counts, attorneys could not advise Roof on the issue.
Judge Marchant then entered the not guilty plea on all counts.
Roof, 21, appeared in a grey striped prison jumpsuit with his hands in shackles.
He answered “yes” several times in response to the judge’s questions but otherwise did not speak.
Judge Marchant also heard briefly from family members of victims of the June 17 attack.