New sentencing hearing set for friend of church shooter

FILE - In this June 18, 2015, file frame from video, Joey Meek, friend of Dylann Roof who is accused of killing nine black church members during Bible study on June 17 in Charleston , S.C., speaks to The Associated Press. Bond was reduced Thursday, Oct. 22 for Meek, accused of failing to tell authorities all he knew about the suspect in the massacre. (APTN via AP, File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A new sentencing hearing has been set for a man who police say failed to warn authorities about his friend’s plans to kill black worshippers at a Charleston church.

Court records show 22-year-old Joey Meek is due in court March 21. Meek has pleaded guilty to failing to report Dylann Roof’s plans and lying to federal authorities.

Prosecutors sought a stiff sentence for Meek. They argued his failure to tell authorities about Roof’s plans to start a race war by killing black churchgoers prevented police from possibly thwarting the massacre.

But a judge on Monday ruled Meek can only be sentenced for what he did after the June 2015 slayings of nine parishioners at Emanuel AME, not before. Federal guidelines allow for a sentence of from 27 to 33 months.

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