Dylann Roof files motion to remove Richmond appeal attorneys based on race, religion

FILE – In this Monday, April 10, 2017, file photo, Dylann Roof enters the court room at the Charleston County Judicial Center to enter his guilty plea on murder charges in Charleston, S.C. Roof, a white supremacist who was sentenced to death in the 2015 massacre of nine black worshippers, has told a federal appeals court he wants to fire his appellate attorneys because one of them is Jewish and the other is Indian. In a handwritten request filed Monday, Sept. 18, with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., Roof wrote that his attorneys’ backgrounds are “a barrier to effective communication.” (Grace Beahm/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The man convicted of killing nine black church members in Charleston, South Carolina is seeking a new attorney to represent him during an appeal filed in Richmond.

Roof, a self-described “white nationalist,” says he objects to his appointed attorneys because of their race. One of the appointed attorneys is Jewish and the other is of Indian descent.

Roof filed the motion to remove and replace counsel with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond Monday.

“My two currently appointed attorneys, Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani are Jewish and Indian, respectively,” Roof wrote in the motion. “It is therefore quite literally impossible that they and I could have the same interests relating to my case.”

He also cited the importance of being able to trust his attorneys. Due to his views on race, he said his lawyers’ race and religion were barriers to this.

“Because of my political views … it will be impossible for me to trust two attorneys that are my political and biological enemies,” he wrote in the motion.

Roof was convicted last year and given a death sentence in January for killing nine black churchgoers because of their race. He filed the motion from a cell in Indiana where he is currently being held.

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