Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty in Church Massacre Dylann Roof won't go on trial before July 2016 By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Sep 3, 2015 1:13 PM CDT 78 comments Comments This Thursday, June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, shows Dylann Roof. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP) (Newser) – Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old charged with killing nine people in the June shooting massacre at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. In court documents filed today, the prosecutors cited reasons for pursuing the death penalty, including the number of people killed and the fact that other people's lives were at risk, the State reports. The newspaper predicts that the move will lead to "a hotly contested trial in which facts ... will be examined in a public forum at length." July of next year is the earliest the case might go to trial.