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'A very anxious man': Exhibits from Dylann Roof's competency hearing show he sought repeated medical care

Roof and McGuire.jpg (copy) (copy)

Bill McGuire of the S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense talks with Dylann Roof as he appears in the Charleston County Court on Monday April 10, 2017, to enter his guilty plea on murder charges in Charleston. File/Grace Beahm/Staff

A federal judge on Monday made public the exhibits from Dylann Roof's first competency hearing, including the convicted killer's mental health records from Lexington County.

Those records indicate Roof had threatened to kill himself as a teenager but later insisted he made the threat to anger his mother. She brought him in for mental health care as early as age 13 due to drug abuse, oppositional behaviors, cutting school and defiance toward her.

In his mid-teens, Roof told mental health staff that he was using marijuana and didn't plan to stop. He also had no goals, didn't want to receive services, didn't like leaving his house, and didn't care about school.

Roof's medical records show repeated instances when he or his mother raised concerns about his social anxieties and fears of leaving his house, an environment where he lacked structure or rules and spent most of his time in his bedroom.

He also sought medical care numerous times for problems including perceived asymmetry of his body and worries about a minor thyroid issue, along with social anxieties.

"He has seen numerous physicians in the past or at least has had an extensive workup for a variety of things according to his mother, but he does not appear to have seen a psychologist for the social disorder," one doctor wrote in late 2014. 

One doctor called him "a very anxious man."

Four days after his arrest for killing nine people at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church in June 2015, Roof told staff at the Charleston County detention center that he was sleeping and eating well and didn't need mental health care. "He reports he is doing well in general," medical records from the jail show.

Other jail records show he emerged from his cell only when he had something to do and spent much of his time lying in his bunk. He was housed in a cell by himself for his own protection.

Roof was sentenced to death in January for the church massacre.  He recently was transferred to a prison in Indiana that houses the federal execution chamber. 

The release of records comes just days after U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel unsealed numerous previously sealed documents including Roof's psychiatric examinations and transcripts of his two competency hearings. 

Contact Jennifer Hawes at (843) 937-5563 or follow her on Twitter @jenberryhawes.

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