Judge delays Roof’s state murder trial indefinitely

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. The sentencing phase of Roof's federal trial begins Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Charleston. He could face the death penalty or life in prison. (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. The sentencing phase of Roof's federal trial begins Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Charleston. He could face the death penalty or life in prison. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP)- The Associated Press reports that the judge in the state trial of Dylann Roof has delayed that trial indefinitely because of the ongoing federal trial.

The state trial was set to begin on Jan. 17.

Today, the judge in Dylann Roof’s federal trial has denied a defense request to represent Roof during the rest of the sentencing phase instead of Roof representing himself.

Roof was convicted last month on all charges in the 2015 Charleston church massacre. He faces the death penalty or life in prison.

Before the sentencing phase got underway Thursday, the defense expressed concern about the number of witnesses and the length of time they would testify.

Prosecutors had planned to call 38 witnesses to the stand during the sentencing phase, but now say that’s unlikely to happen.

Denise Quarles is one of the witnesses who took the stand Thursday. She is the daughter of Myra Thompson, one of the nine people killed at Mother Emanuel AME Church. She spoke about how she and her mother would text and call each other four times a day.

She gave incredibly vivid testimony and spoke about a dream she had about her mother dying. Roof did not cross examine her.

Roof is representing himself during the sentencing phase and said he does not plan to call any witnesses or present any evidence.

Testimony is expected to wrap up next week.