CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Joey Meek, a friend of Dylann Roof, has been sentenced to 27 months in federal prison.
Prosecutors argue Joey Meek should receive the harshest penalty possible for not trying to prevent the Emanuel A.M.E. church massacre.
Dylann Roof’s friend and former roommate told the F.B.I. he knew about Roof’s desire to start a race war and kill churchgoers before the June 2015 shootings. Prosecutors want that figured into how long he is sent to prison.
“The prosecution is saying that if Mr. Meek he had reported to the federal authorities that Dylann Roof planned to commit these murders, then they could have prevented it,” said Charlie Condon, a former S.C. attorney general. “This active concealment by defendant Meek did not occur until after the murders.”
The judge presiding over the case says Meek’s failure to act was not a crime and his sentence will be based on what he did after the shootings to interfere with the investigation, meaning he could face up to eight years behind bars.
“He issued a ruling that was not politically popular but absolutely legally correct,” said Condon.
Prosecutors earlier filed a motion for harsher sentencing, saying Meek could have helped prevent the horrible tragedy that killed nine if had he reported his friend’s plans.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel squashed that appeal and said federal sentencing rules will guide his decision. That means Meek will only be sentenced based on what he did after the slaying and not what he did before Roof’s crime.
Roof was convicted in December 2016 of 33 federal charges including hate crimes and he now awaits the death penalty.
Meek already pleaded guilty last year to misprision of a felony, which means concealing knowledge of a crime after it occurs and lying to federal agents. He cooperated with the government leading up to Roof’s trial as part of his plea deal.