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Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof won't try to avoid the death penalty

Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof told U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Wednesday that he won't call witnesses or present evidence to try to avoid the death penalty, The Associated Press reports. Earlier this month, Roof was found guilty on all 33 counts brought against him over the June 2015 murder of nine people at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Some legal experts believe that Roof is intentionally seeking "death by jury," Mic reports. The judge requested Roof talk the decision over with his family, including his grandfather, who is a lawyer. Roof has until opening statements to change his decision.

Roof faces either life imprisonment or the death penalty, to be decided by jurors in January, with the sentencing phase beginning on Jan. 3 at 9 a.m. EST.