Dylann Roof, the convicted white supremacist murderer of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, SC, wants to dismiss and replace his legal team because they are his "political and biological enemies," he says in a handwritten letter filed with the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals Monday. Roof, who's appealing his conviction and death sentence, says in the letter that his attorneys, Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani, "are Jewish and Indian respectively. It is therefore quite literally impossible that they and I could have the same interests relating to my case," the Post and Courier reports.
"Because of my political views, which are arguably religious, it will be impossible for me to trust two attorneys that are my political and biological enemies," he continues. He also notes that his defense attorney at his federal trial was Jewish, and "his ethnicity was a constant source of conflict even with my constant efforts to look past it." (In fact, the defense team alleged Roof threatened to kill the lawyer if he was ever freed.) Roof represented himself during the sentencing phase of his trial. Federal prosecutors say his 2015 rampage at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was an attempt to start a race war. Per the Washington Post, the court will review Roof's request and make a decision. The attorneys haven't commented. NPR has Roof's letter in full. (Read more Dylann Roof stories.)