Dylann Roof defense seeks to add fourth attorney

Dylann Roof’s lead defense attorneys, Michael O’Connell (left) and David Bruck, arrive for an October hearing at U.S. District Court in Charleston.

Dylann Roof’s defense team wants to add a fourth member, a filing stated Thursday.

Kimberly Candace Stevens, a federal public defender in Oregon, asked U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel to allow her to work on Roof’s case.

The application for “pro hac vice” admission would permit Stevens to work in the South Carolina federal court district only to defend Roof.

Gergel was expected to approve the motion. He already has allowed Sarah Gannett, a public defender from Arizona, to help Roof’s primary attorneys, David Bruck and Michael O’Connell.

Roof, 22, of Eastover, is charged with 33 federal counts, including hate crimes and religious rights violations. If he’s convicted of certain charges at his Nov. 7 trial, a jury would decide whether he should be executed.

In a separate development Thursday, Gergel allowed Roof’s defense team’s motion to suppress evidence, including videos and documents, to be filed under seal from public view. Prosecutors’ response to the motion also must not be made public, he ruled. Roof’s lawyers had said they feared that disclosure of the evidence would threaten his right to a fair trial.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 843-937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.