RELIGION

No decision on death penalty pursuit in Charleston shooting

Prosecutors handling the federal case against the man accused of shooting to death nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, say the decision on whether to pursue the death penalty is in its final stages.

U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson said Tuesday that decision is now pending directly before U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who will make the determination.

Richardson and attorneys for Dylann Roof were in court to discuss updates to the case. Roof was not present, and no date for his federal trial has been set.

Roof, who faces nine counts of murder in state court, is charged with hate crimes and other counts in federal court. The state is seeking death in Roof's state trial, which is set for July.