Feds to seek longer sentence for Dylann Roof's friend Joey Meek

The heinousness of avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof's crimes warrant a greater than maximum sentence for his friend Joey Meek, argued federal prosecutors in a motion filed Monday.

Meek pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and failing to report the details of what he knew of Roof's plot to kill members of an all-black church in Charleston. Investigators say he also failed to alert police once news broke of the attack at Emanuel AME Church.

Meek's crimes carry with them a maximum 8-year sentence, but prosecutors had offered a lesser sentence if he cooperated in the case against Roof. However, Meek was never called as a witness in the federal trial that wrapped up in January.

Roof was sentenced to death for the Emanuel AME shooting that left nine people dead.

Now prosecutors say because the Roof case is "atypical and exceptional," that the "sentencing guideline provision for misprision does not adequately take into account those facts and conduct."

In a motion for upward variance in Meek's sentence, U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams says the "horrific nature" of Roof's crimes, including the planning, the racist motive, and the significant loss of life, are not taken into account when considering Meek's sentence.

SPECIAL SECTION: The Emanuel AME Shooting

Williams said in the filing that family members of the nine slain parishioners may speak at Meek's sentencing hearing to push for a more significant sentence for Meek.

Further, Williams says Meek's actions are well outside the normal sentencing guidelines.

"Meek was told specifics by Roof about his plan to attack the church in Charleston well in advance of June 17, 2015. While Meek was not legally required to notify authorities, the Court should take into account in arriving at the appropriate sentence that Meek failed to notify authorities and, as a result, law enforcement was deprived of the opportunity to take action to prevent Roof’s attack," Williams writes.

"Moreover, once Meek learned of the attack and immediately recognized that Roof had indeed done it, both his own failure to notify authorities and his efforts to keep others from doing so, inhibited the manhunt’s efforts to find Roof, who was at the time armed and willing to engage in violence."

The filing does not suggest how far upward the court should revise Meek's sentence, but that will likely be discussed later this week when Meek returns to a Charleston courtroom for his sentencing hearing.

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