|Documents unsealed in federal court reveal new details about the mental health of convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, including a psychiatrist's finding that his disorders make it hard for him to focus, interact with others or express emotion.
Quoting from a psychiatrist's testimony during one of those hearings, his lawyers wrote "the defendant suffers from 'Social Anxiety Disorder, a Mixed Substance Abuse Disorder, a Schizoid Personality Disorder, depression by history, and a possible Autistic Spectrum Disorder.'"
Some of the other trademarks of those disorders, according to the filings, are anxiety about unknown outcomes, a tendency to become overwhelmed and trouble retaining information. Roof's "high IQ," his attorneys wrote, is "compromised by a significant discrepancy between his ability to comprehend and to process information and a poor working memory."
Because of this, his attorneys asked that the judge allow for frequent courtroom breaks, longer times for lunch recess and perhaps even a day or two off from court per week. The motion also noted that U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel had "denied a defense request for an independent competency evaluation focused on autism."
The judge ultimately denied the motion, taking breaks at regular intervals and holding court for about eight hours a day. The information on Roof's diagnoses emerges from the hundreds of pages of court documents originally filed under seal and opened this week by Gergel.