CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake has written an open letter to the relatives of nine black parishioners fatally shot in a Charleston church last year and to three survivors of the shooting.
In a letter posted online Wednesday, Drake told the families that both the federal government and state prosecutors are seeking justice as they prepare to try accused shooter Dylann Roof.
The comment is Drake’s first since taking over the office for Bill Nettles, who resigned last month as South Carolina’s top federal prosecutor.
Roof’s federal death penalty trial is set for Nov. 7. State prosecutors’ capital case is scheduled for January, although state Solicitor Scarlett Wilson has said her case should go first.
In her letter, Drake calls Wilson a “terrific, capable, smart and excellent trial lawyer” who also at one point worked as a federal prosecutor. While it may seem at times state and federal officials disagree, Drake wrote, “at the end of the day, we are all after the same thing – justice.”