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Competency hearing for Dylann Roof delayed until Nov. 17

The sketch artist's view of the first jury panel in Monday's federal court (Photo:Sam Tyson/WCIV, Sketch: Robert Maniscalco)

A competency hearing for the man accused of killing nine people in a downtown Charleston church has been pushed off by a day, which means the court's decision on Dylann Roof's ability to stand trial will likely be delayed as well.

That hearing is set for 9:30 a.m.

The original hearing was set for Nov. 16 with a decision from the court due two days later.

The 22-year-old Roof was supposed to be going through his second week of jury selection for his federal hate crimes trial, but a last minute motion filed Nov. 7 pushed back the process until Nov. 22. An unsealed motion by the defense sought to push back that process even further -- until sometime after Thanksgiving.

That was the tentative start date for opening arguments in the case.

The unsealed and redacted motion also showed the judge presiding over the case, U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Gergel, has concerns Roof may no longer be competent to stand trial. If he is found incompetent, he will be housed in a government medical facility for counseling in the hopes of making him competent.

Roof faces the death penalty in federal and state court for the shooting. His attorneys have offered a guilty plea in exchange for a life sentence.

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