Continuance granted for Conway man accused of plotting Dylann Roof-style attack


CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Attorneys for Benjamin McDowell are asking for more time before the case moves forward, citing mental health questions and thousands of pages of new documents.

McDowell was charged with felon in possession of a firearm in February after he bought a gun from an undercover FBI agent. Documents from the FBI allege that he bought the weapon to possibly carry out a racially motivated attack.

Prosecutors said McDowell told the undercover employee he hadn’t decided on a place or time for the attack, but the documents describe the scale of his plans. In one conversation, McDowell  told the agent he wanted to “do something on a f****** big scale and write on the f****** building or whatever, ‘In the spirit of Dylann Roof.’”

A motion of continuance filed May 30 states McDowell’s counsel need more time to complete his discovery review after receiving several thousand pages of pages relating to his case after his last pre-trial conference on April 18. McDowell’s counsel also states they’re continuing to review and secure records relevant to McDowell’s history of mental health treatment.

“In summary, this case presents complex factual and legal issues complicated by an overlay of mental health questions,” the document states.

Court documents show the motion was granted this week by federal judge R. Bryan Harwell.