dylann roof - with guards

*Prosecutors handling the federal case against the man charged in the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a Charleston, S.C. church say the decision on whether to pursue the death penalty rests solely with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson said Tuesday that the decision is in its final stages and Lynch will make the determination, reports the Associated Press.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks during a news conference for announcing a law enforcement action March 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks during a news conference for announcing a law enforcement action March 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Dylann Roof is charged with federal hate crimes and other counts in the shooting deaths of nine black worshippers at Emanuel African Methodist Church, including its pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney.

Richardson and attorneys for Roof were in court to discuss updates to the case. Roof was not present, and no date for his federal trial has been set.

The state is seeking death in Roof’s state trial, which is set for July.