Dylann Roof in court to hear his trial date

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Thursday the man accused of shooting and killing nine members of Emanuel AME church in downtown Charleston several weeks ago spent time in court.

Dylann Roof walked into the courtroom and sat next to his attorney, Ashley Pennington and listened as Pennington, Solicitor Scarlett Wilson and Judge J.C. Nicholson discussed some of the business details of his case.

Nine counts of murder, along with possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and three attempted murder charges. Pennington said his client waived formal arraignment of the charges, as well as bond, and judge Nicholson agreed.

“He is a danger to the community as he was picked up in North Carolina. He’s a flight risk. Bond is denied.”

The judge then announced that Roof’s trial will begin July 11, 2016.

The judge then discussed the gag order on the case, which prevents the release of information. He said the state constitution guarantees that the dignity of victims not be violated.

He said there are two things the court is concerned about releasing to the media that might violate that dignity guarantee. “Number one, any graphic pictures of the victims dead on the floor of the church… Second, if there is a 911 tape that was recorded during the shooting, and there are some sounds from the victims on that tape, those two issues are the concern and those are the only two issues.”

The judge extended the gag order until next Wednesday at 5pm to see if any victims, media, law enforcement or prosecutors file any motions regarding release of the information.

Judge Nicholson said if no one files a motion regarding release of that information, then his gag order will automatically be lifted Wednesday at 5 p.m.

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