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Dylann Roof made 'compelling' attempt to protect family members, court order reveals

FILE - In this June 18, 2015, file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - An order signed by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel has unsealed nearly 100 documents connected to the Dylann Roof case. The order to unseal the documents Tuesday now makes those documents and some related evidence available to the public.

In the order, Gergel issued his written opinion on the decision and stated parties involved all agreed a majority of the documents related to the case should be unsealed. However, Roof made requests some documents be redacted and his concerns were taken under consideration.

There were a handful of reasons Roof requested some items be redacted, and the order makes it clear the man convicted of shooting and killing nine people in Emanuel AME Church was trying to protect the future of family members.

Among the information he attempted to keep from the public are videos of his 16-year-old sister visiting him in jail. Roof believes video of his sister's visits will damage her reputation. He attempted to argue video of her visits should not be available, but Gergel ruled in favor of making them public while admitting the killer's argument was compelling.

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"The privacy interests of a minor are especially compelling," Gergel wrote while referencing court cases from other states.

But the judge said the teen “intelligently expected” the video to become public. He said video challenging the competency of Roof and its being made public far outweighed concerns over her privacy.

The judge did agree to redact documents revealing health information of Roof’s family members.

We have a team combing through the documents and will update this story.


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