RELIGION

The Latest: Judge says no to man's mental health evidence

  • FILE - In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. Prosecutors who wanted to show that Roof was a cruel, angry racist simply used his own words at his death penalty trial on charges he killed nine black people in June 2015 at a Charleston church. Roof's two-hour videotaped confession less than a day after the shooting and a handwritten journal found in his car when he was arrested were introduced into evidence Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

    FILE - In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. Prosecutors who wanted to show that Roof was a cruel, angry racist simply used his own words at his death penalty trial on charges he killed nine black people in June 2015 at a Charleston church. Roof's two-hour videotaped confession less than a day after the shooting and a handwritten journal found in his car when he was arrested were introduced into evidence Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof. Prosecutors who wanted to show that Roof was a cruel, angry racist simply used his own words at his death penalty trial on charges he killed nine black people at a Charleston church. Roof's two-hour videotaped confession less than a day after the June 2015 shooting and a handwritten journal found in his car when he was arrested were introduced into evidence Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

    FILE - This June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof. Prosecutors who wanted to show that Roof was a cruel, angry racist simply used his own words at his death penalty trial on charges he killed nine black people at a Charleston church. Roof's two-hour videotaped confession less than a day after the June 2015 shooting and a handwritten journal found in his car when he was arrested were introduced into evidence Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the federal death penalty trial of a man accused of killing nine black people during a South Carolina church Bible study (all times local):

9:20 a.m.

A judge has denied a man's request to introduce evidence about his state of mind during his trial for the shooting deaths of nine black people during Bible study at a South Carolina church.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled late Monday that attorneys for Dylann Roof couldn't present that evidence during the guilt phase of his trial.

Roof's attorneys had wanted to put up evidence related to their client's mental health. Gergel says he's already ruled that kind of evidence is more appropriate for the penalty phase of Roof's trial, where jurors would decide if he's sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.

Roof faces 33 federal charges including hate crimes and obstruction of the practice of religion. Jurors began hearing the case against him last week.

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3:25 a.m.

Prosecutors could soon wrap up their case against the man accused of slaying nine blacks during a Bible study at a South Carolina church.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson says he has about a dozen more witnesses to call in the prosecution of Dylann Roof.

Roof faces 33 federal charges including hate crimes in the June 2015 shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. His attorneys say Roof would be willing to plead guilty if prosecutors dropped their pursuit of the death penalty.

On Monday, agents testified they found a list of other local black churches in Roof's car.

Prosecutors say they plan to call more law enforcement officers to testify, along with experts on cellphone evidence. Richardson says the last witness he'll call is shooting survivor Polly Sheppard.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP . Read more of her work at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/meg-kinnard/