Dylann Roof's friend gets over 2 years for lying to FBI

Roof revealed his plan to "put SC on the map", about a week before he killed nine black worshippers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015.

Joey Meek, 22, told authorities Roof revealed his plot during a cocaine and vodka-fueled night about a week before the shooting, which was one of several racially charged shootings in recent years that reopened debate about race relations and gun control laws in the United States.

"He knew who it was", U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel in Charleston said before sentencing Meek to 27 months in prison. He added that Meek was fortunate another massacre didn't occur because of the delay in identifying Roof.

Roof and Meek were childhood friends who authorities said grew apart but later reconnected.

While Meek claimed that he didn't take the conversation "seriously", he also hid Roof's handgun (which he later returned).

Meek was not charged for failing to go to the police before the attack.

Joey Meek is set to be sentenced Tuesday in Charleston by the same federal judge who presided over Roof's trial, which ended in January with Roof being sentenced to death for the slaughter of nine people at Emanuel AME church.

Meek agreed to plead guilty and help prosecutors, but he was never called to testify during Roof's trial.

"I'm really, really sorry", he said, according to the Associated Press. "[He] has expressed to all of the families of the victims of the brutal murders at the AME church his honest remorse and sympathies for their losses".

On Tuesday, standing in the same courtroom where Roof was given the death penalty two months ago, the 22-year-old learned the cost of his actions: 27 months in a federal prison. Meek, however, avoided prosecution for failing to alert authorities about Roof's plan ― which Meek had prior knowledge of ― before he committed the crime.

Roof, a self-avowed white supremacist, was found guilty of dozens of charges related to the June 17, 2015, shooting at a Bible study session at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Meek also is a product of his times where "we live in a society where people say shocking and violent things every day", wrote Barbier, who included an exhibit cataloging some of the thousands of hostile messages on social media against then-President Barack Obama.

Meek told the Federal Bureau of Investigation he didn't report the conversation or call police even after hearing about the shootings in Charleston because he was on probation for burglary and was anxious he would get in more trouble.

Meek had been friends with Roof in middle school but had reportedly lost contact.

  • Larry Hoffman