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Dylann Roof's competency hearing pushed back to week of Thanksgiving

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

The progress of the federal government's case against accused Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof has been delayed again. A competency hearing set for Thursday has been pushed back to next week.

According to an order from U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Gergel, the competency hearing has been pushed back to Nov. 21 at 9 a.m.

It's not clear why the hearing was rescheduled again.

The hearing had been set for Wednesday with a decision on the results by Friday, but Gergel has pushed back the matter while attorneys filed a number of sealed motions and documents in the case.

Jury selection was supposed to be wrapping up ahead of Thanksgiving with plans to start opening statements after the holiday. Now it's not clear how far this could delay the process.

If Roof is declared incompetent to stand trial, he will be kept in a federal mental hospital where he will get treatment in the hopes he will be competent at some point.

Roof faces nearly three dozen charges for the June 17, 2015 shooting and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. State prosecutors, who have charged Roof with nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.

His attorneys have offered a guilty plea in exchange for a life sentence, but so far prosecutors have not accepted the offer.

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