Dylann Roof, the white supremacist facing the death penalty for killing nine Black members of a Charleston, South Carolina church last summer, was beaten in a fight with another inmate at the Cannon Detention Center Thursday, according to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.
An incident report reveals Roof had been showering at the time of the attack. At about 7:45 a.m., 25-year-old Dwayne Stafford allegedly left his cell and raced downstairs to the first level of the jail where Roof was. Using his hands, Stafford hit Roof in the face and body, leaving the 22-year-old with bruises on his back and face. Detention officers stopped the scuffle.
The document calls the incident “unprovoked” and Maj. Eric Watson – who works at the local sheriff’s office – told The Post and Courier Roof was taken in for a medical evaluation. There were no serious injuries and the inmate was not hospitalized.
Watson said Stafford will be charged with third-degree assault and battery. The misdemeanor charge means a maximum 30-day jail sentence and a $500 fine at the highest.
More information will be released at a press conference that began at 1:30 p.m. today.
Lawyers for Roof are looking to challenge the legality of the death penalty in court papers filed Monday evening.
Atlanta Black Star reported the attorneys will dismiss the challenge if prosecutors would not consider the death penalty in the case. Roof’s defense team claimed the federal death penalty law and the death penalty are violations of the 5th and 8th amendments. They respectively state a person cannot be a witness against themselves in a criminal case and the government cannot impose cruel and unusual punishment.
“This court should declare the FDPA (Federal Death Penalty Act) unconstitutional and order that this case proceed as a non-capital case,” the lawyers said in the motion.
Because, they argued, the death penalty is unconstitutional, “no one can be lawfully sentenced to death or executed under it, no matter what his crimes.”