RELIGION

Judge sends sealed files in Dylann Roof case to state court

FILE - In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Charleston, S.C., Dylann Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. The South Carolina judge overseeing the upcoming state trial of the convicted church shooter will review sealed federal court records dealing with Roof's mental competency, which might prevent the need to evaluate him again. On Tuesday, Jan. 24 U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ordered that transcripts from Roof’s competency hearings, psychological evaluations and records from defense experts be sent to Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson.  (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

FILE - In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Charleston, S.C., Dylann Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. The South Carolina judge overseeing the upcoming state trial of the convicted church shooter will review sealed federal court records dealing with Roof's mental competency, which might prevent the need to evaluate him again. On Tuesday, Jan. 24 U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ordered that transcripts from Roof’s competency hearings, psychological evaluations and records from defense experts be sent to Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)  (The Associated Press)

The judge overseeing the upcoming state trial of convicted church shooter Dylann Roof in South Carolina is getting a glimpse at sealed federal court records dealing with his mental competency.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Tuesday ordered transcripts from Roof's competency hearings, psychological evaluation records and records from defense experts be sent to Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson.

Roof was sentenced to death earlier this month for the June 2015 slayings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. He also faces a possible death sentence in state court, but that trial has been delayed indefinitely.

Gergel twice found Roof competent to stand trial in the federal case during closed-door hearings, over objections from media outlets including The Associated Press. Roof had lawyers during the guilt phase of his trial but represented himself at sentencing.

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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/