*Joey Meek, the 22-year-old friend of Dylann Roof, was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in federal prison for concealing knowledge of a felony and then making false statements to the FBI.
Before Roof shot dead nine parishioners at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015, he told Meek about his homicidal plans during an alcohol and cocaine-fueled night, court documents reveal.
“Meek apologized to the families of the nine victims during his sentencing hearing,” South Carolina Public Radio’s Alexandra Olgin reports. “Through tears, he said at the time he was very scared and made bad decisions. He says he wished he had alerted police and taken Roof more seriously.”
In June 2015, just a few days before the Emanuel A.M.E. massacre, Roof told Meek that he wanted to “ignite a race war,” according to court documents.
“Roof stated he had been planning his attack for six months and that his plan was to kill African Americans at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina on a Wednesday evening,” Meek’s testimony reads. He also told investigators that Roof planned to kill himself after the attack.
That night, after Roof fell asleep, Meek told investigators that he took Roof’s car keys, removed the gun from the car and hid it in a vent in his house.
But then he thought twice about it: “Prior to Roof waking up, Meek ended up putting the firearm back into the trunk of Roof’s car because Meek was on probation for a felony offense and was concerned about being caught with a weapon.”
Meek pleaded guilty to the two federal counts in April 2016. His attorney, Deborah Barbier, had argued that her client was “not equipped to anticipate Roof’s capabilities or acts,” according to The Post and Courier.
But U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel told the court that “he wanted Meek to spend time in prison as a deterrent for anyone in the future who knows about something so serious and fails to report it.”