You are on page 1of 32

2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 1 of 32

1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
2 CHARLESTON DIVISION

3
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA :
4 :
vs. :
5 :
JOSEPH CARLTON MEEK : 2:15 - CR - 633
6

8 Plea in the above-captioned matter held Friday,

9 April 29, 2016, commencing at 1:13 p.m., before the

10 Honorable Richard M. Gergel, in the United States

11 Courthouse, Courtroom VI, 85 Broad Street, Charleston,

12 South Carolina, 29401.

13

14
APPEARANCES:
15
NATHAN S. WILLIAMS, ESQUIRE and
16 JULIUS N. RICHARDSON, ESQUIRE, Office of the
U.S. Attorney, P.O. Box 978, Charleston, SC,
17 appeared for the Government.

18 DEBORAH B. BARBIER, ESQ., 1811 Pickens Street,


Columbia, SC, appeared for defendant.
19

20

21

22
REPORTED BY DEBRA L. POTOCKI, RMR, RDR, CRR
23 Official Court Reporter for the U.S. District Court
P.O. Box 835
24 Charleston, SC 29402
843/723-2208
25
2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 2 of 32
2

1 MR. RICHARDSON: United States versus Joseph Meek,

2 Criminal No. 2:15-633. We're here for a guilty plea hearing,

3 Your Honor.

4 THE COURT: Very good.

5 Good afternoon, Miss Barbier.

6 MS. BARBIER: Good afternoon, Your Honor.

7 THE COURT: I want to confirm that your client wishes

8 to change his plea from not guilty to guilty, pursuant to a

9 plea agreement. Is that correct?

10 MS. BARBIER: That is correct, Your Honor.

11 THE COURT: Miss Ravenel, let's swear the defendant.

12 (Defendant was duly sworn.)

13 THE COURT: Good afternoon, Mr. Meek.

14 THE DEFENDANT: Good afternoon, Judge.

15 THE COURT: I want to confirm that you wish to change

16 your plea from a plea of not guilty to guilty today. Is that

17 correct, sir?

18 THE DEFENDANT: That's correct, Your Honor.

19 THE COURT: I want to first confirm that I've been

20 provided a proposed plea agreement; I want to confirm that is

21 Mr. Meek's signature.

22 THE DEFENDANT: That's my signature, sir.

23 THE COURT: Very good.

24 Mr. Meek, let me talk to you a little bit about what we're

25 going to be doing here today.


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 3 of 32
3

1 Before I can accept your plea of guilty, I need to satisfy

2 myself that you understand your legal rights, that your plea

3 is free and voluntary, it's an informed plea, and that you

4 are, in fact, guilty of the charge for which you are pleading.

5 So I am going to be asking you a series of questions. If I

6 ask you a question you do not understand, would you ask me to

7 rephrase it?

8 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.

9 THE COURT: And to the extent I ask you a question

10 that you would like to ask your attorney for advice before you

11 answer it, you just let me know that and I will let you do

12 that. Okay?

13 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.

14 THE COURT: Now, we started this process off by you

15 staying an oath to tell the truth, correct?

16 THE DEFENDANT: Correct.

17 THE COURT: And you understand your obligation to

18 answer my questions honestly, is that fair?

19 THE DEFENDANT: That's fair.

20 THE COURT: And you understand that should you answer

21 a question falsely, you could face further prosecution for

22 perjury or making a false statement. Do you understand that?

23 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

24 THE COURT: Now, Mr. Meek, how old are you?

25 THE DEFENDANT: Twenty-one.


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 4 of 32
4

1 THE COURT: How far did you go in school?

2 THE DEFENDANT: Tenth grade is the last grade I

3 completed.

4 THE COURT: Are you currently under the influence of

5 any drug, medication or alcoholic beverage?

6 THE DEFENDANT: No, sir, except for one of my

7 prescriptions.

8 THE COURT: And what's the nature of the

9 prescriptions you're on?

10 THE DEFENDANT: I'm just on ADHD medicine.

11 THE COURT: And is that interfering with your ability

12 to understand the proceedings here today?

13 THE DEFENDANT: No, sir.

14 THE COURT: Would you promise me that if you got

15 confused or didn't understand what was going on, you would let

16 me know that?

17 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

18 THE COURT: Very good. Have you ever been treated

19 for mental illness?

20 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

21 THE COURT: Tell me about that.

22 THE DEFENDANT: When I was younger I just went like

23 to the mental health, until I was in high school, and then I

24 stopped going.

25 THE COURT: Would you, again, to the extent anything


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 5 of 32
5

1 in which you didn't understand the proceedings, you'd let me

2 know that here today?

3 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

4 THE COURT: Have you ever been treated for addiction

5 to alcohol or narcotic drugs?

6 THE DEFENDANT: No, Your Honor.

7 THE COURT: Okay. Miss Barbier, do you have any

8 doubts as to the defendant's competence to plead?

9 MS. BARBIER: No, I don't, Your Honor. With respect

10 to the questions that you just asked Mr. Meek, he is currently

11 under the care of a psychiatrist. And he has previously been

12 seen by psychiatrists at Lexington County Mental Health, and

13 has received various diagnoses over the years.

14 I don't have any concerns that he is not competent to

15 answer your questions today or that it's interfering in any

16 way with his ability to understand the proceedings or answer

17 your questions.

18 THE COURT: And, Miss Barbier, to the extent we went

19 along, you changed your opinion, you would alert the Court to

20 that, would you not?

21 MS. BARBIER: I would, Your Honor.

22 THE COURT: Mr. Richardson, do you have any question

23 as to defendant's competence to plead?

24 MR. RICHARDSON: We do not, Your Honor.

25 THE COURT: I find the defendant is competent to


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 6 of 32
6

1 plead to these charges.

2 Now, Mr. Meek, have you had an ample opportunity to

3 discuss your case with your attorney?

4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

5 THE COURT: Are you satisfied with her

6 representation?

7 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

8 THE COURT: Has she done everything you've asked her

9 do?

10 THE DEFENDANT: Everything, Your Honor.

11 THE COURT: Is there anything else you want her to do

12 before we proceed with your guilty plea this afternoon?

13 THE DEFENDANT: No, Your Honor.

14 THE COURT: Let me talk with you just a bit about

15 your legal rights. Because obviously, by pleading guilty,

16 you're waiving certain rights, and I want you to do that

17 knowingly and intelligently, if that's what you want to do.

18 Do you understand that under the constitution and laws of

19 the United States, you are entitled to plead not guilty. You

20 understand that?

21 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

22 THE COURT: And do you also understand if you plead

23 not guilty, you're entitled to a trial by jury, correct?

24 THE DEFENDANT: Correct.

25 THE COURT: Now, if you decide to plead not guilty,


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 7 of 32
7

1 and request a jury trial, you would be afforded a number of

2 legal rights in my courtroom. Let me highlight some of the

3 more important ones for you. You would have the right to

4 assistance of counsel at every stage of the criminal

5 proceeding. You would be presumed innocent, and the

6 Government would be required to prove you guilty by competent

7 evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, and you would not have to

8 prove that you were innocent.

9 The witnesses for the Government would have to come to

10 court and testify in your presence, and your attorney could

11 cross-examine the witnesses for the Government, object to

12 evidence offered by the Government, and offer evidence on your

13 behalf.

14 While you would have a right to testify, if you chose to

15 do so, you also have the right not to testify, and exercise

16 your constitutional right to silence. And if you elected to

17 do that, I would instruct the jury that no inference or

18 suggestion of guilt could be drawn from the fact that you had

19 exercised that right.

20 You would also have the right to issue subpoenas to compel

21 the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents in

22 your defense.

23 Now, Mr. Meek, do you understand these rights as I've just

24 explained them to you?

25 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 8 of 32
8

1 THE COURT: Do you understand that if you plead

2 guilty and I accept your plea, you will have to give up your

3 right to a jury trial and the other rights I have just listed

4 to you; there will be no trial, and I will enter a judgment of

5 guilty and sentence you on the basis of your guilty plea.

6 Do you understand that?

7 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

8 THE COURT: Do you also understand that if you plead

9 guilty, you will also have to give up your right not to

10 incriminate yourself, because I need to ask you sufficient

11 questions to satisfy myself that you are guilty as charged,

12 and you will have to acknowledge to me your guilt.

13 Do you understand that?

14 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

15 THE COURT: Do you understand that if you plead

16 guilty and I accept your plea, you may be required to make

17 restitution to the victims of your acts, either by the payment

18 of money or in personal services as may be directed by this

19 Court.

20 Do you understand that?

21 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

22 THE COURT: Do you understand that if you plead

23 guilty and I accept your plea, I'm obligated to impose a

24 special assessment upon you, which I believe in this case is

25 $100.
2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 9 of 32
9

1 Do you understand that?

2 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

3 THE COURT: Do you understand that since the offense

4 you are pleading is a felony conviction, that if your plea is

5 accepted, you may be deprived of valuable civil rights, such

6 as the right to vote, hold public office, serve on a jury or

7 possess a firearm of any type.

8 Do you understand that?

9 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

10 THE COURT: Now, Mr. Meek, now that I've discussed

11 with you your rights, do you still wish to plead guilty?

12 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

13 THE COURT: Now, have you had a chance to review the

14 indictment, which is the written charge against you?

15 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

16 THE COURT: Let me review that with you. And have

17 you had a chance to review that with Miss Barbier? Have you

18 had a chance to review the charges with Miss Barbier?

19 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

20 THE COURT: Very good. Let me just walk through with

21 you the indictment. There are two counts to which you are

22 pleading under this plea agreement. The first one is

23 misprision of a felony. And it alleges that in or about

24 June 2015, in the District of South Carolina, you, having

25 knowledge of the actual commission of a felony, cognizable by


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 10 of 32
10

1 a court of the United States, and specific crimes of a Hate

2 Crimes Act under 18 U.S.C. Section 249, and the obstruction of

3 the Exercise of Religion Act under 18 United States Code 247,

4 committed by Dylann Storm Roof, and that -- and you concealed

5 your knowledge of that fact and did not, as soon as possible,

6 make known the same to some judge or other person in civil

7 authority under the United States.

8 Do you understand that charge of misprision of a felony?

9 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

10 THE COURT: And the second count is making a false

11 statement. And it alleges that on or about June 18, 2015, in

12 the District of South Carolina, that you willfully and

13 knowingly made and caused to be made materially false,

14 fictitious and fraudulent statements and representations in a

15 matter within the jurisdiction of a department or agency of

16 the United States, and that specifically was to an FBI agent.

17 And that you -- and the false statement is that you did not

18 know the specifics of Dylann Roof's plan to shoot individuals

19 on a Wednesday during Bible study at an AME Church in

20 Charleston, South Carolina; whereas, in truth and fact, you

21 did know those facts and your statements were false,

22 fictitious and fraudulent.

23 Now, do you understand that charge?

24 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

25 THE COURT: Now, to establish your guilt under first


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 11 of 32
11

1 count one, the misprision of a felony, the Government would

2 have to prove the following elements. That a felony had been

3 committed by another person, that you had knowledge of the

4 commission of that felony, that you failed to notify

5 authorities of that knowledge, and that you took an

6 affirmative act to conceal that crime.

7 And count two, the elements the Government would have to

8 prove regarding the false statement is that there was a

9 statement that was false, that was material, that you made the

10 statement knowingly and willfully, and it pertained to a

11 matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the

12 United States Government.

13 Now, do you understand the elements the Government would

14 have to prove to establish your guilt under those two counts?

15 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

16 THE COURT: Very good. I do find the defendant fully

17 comprehends and understands the nature of the charges against

18 him, and generally what elements the Government would have to

19 prove if a trial were held.

20 Now let me talk to you about the maximum potential

21 punishment under each of those. First count one, the

22 misprision of a felony, a maximum imprisonment of three years,

23 a fine of $250,000, supervised release up to one year, and a

24 special assessment of $100.

25 Count two, the making a false statement, the maximum


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 12 of 32
12

1 period of imprisonment is five years, a fine of $250,000,

2 supervised release up to three years, and a special assessment

3 of $100.

4 So actually I told you earlier your total special

5 assessment would be 100; it was actually $200 total, because

6 there are two counts.

7 Now, Mr. Meek, if you pled guilty, or if you are convicted

8 by a jury, then I have to determine your appropriate sentence.

9 In determining that sentence, I'm required to consider the

10 statutory factors set out in 18 United States Code 3553(a),

11 but also the advisory Sentencing Guidelines issued by the

12 United States Sentencing Commission.

13 Have you and your attorney talked about how these

14 statutory factors and Sentencing Guidelines may affect your

15 sentence?

16 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

17 THE COURT: Now, you understand that we will not,

18 today, be sentencing you; that will be at a later point. Do

19 you understand that, sir?

20 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

21 THE COURT: And you understand that the sentence

22 imposed by this Court -- that may be imposed by this Court,

23 may be different from any estimate your attorney may have

24 provided you. Do you understand that?

25 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 13 of 32
13

1 THE COURT: And do you understand that if the

2 sentence is more severe than you expected, you will still be

3 bound by your guilty plea and you will have no right to

4 withdraw it. Do you understand that?

5 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

6 THE COURT: Now, you understand under certain limited

7 circumstances you're going to have a right to appeal, but that

8 that right to appeal has been partially waived. Do you

9 understand that?

10 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

11 THE COURT: Now, we will, when we go through the plea

12 agreement, we will get into specifics about that. And I will

13 turn to that in a moment.

14 Now, do you realize that if you plead guilty and I accept

15 your plea, and if there is a period of incarceration, that it

16 will be followed by a period of supervised release. Do you

17 understand that?

18 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

19 THE COURT: And do you understand if you're placed on

20 supervised release, that there are certain standards of

21 behavior you must maintain. Correct?

22 THE DEFENDANT: Correct.

23 THE COURT: And you understand that should you

24 violate those standards of behavior, you could be returned to

25 prison. You understand that?


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 14 of 32
14

1 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

2 THE COURT: Okay. Now, Mr. Meek, are you pleading

3 guilty of your own free will because you are guilty?

4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

5 THE COURT: Has anyone threatened you or forced you

6 in any way to plead guilty?

7 THE DEFENDANT: No, sir.

8 THE COURT: Has anyone promised you a specific jail

9 sentence?

10 THE DEFENDANT: No, sir.

11 THE COURT: There is a proposed plea agreement. And

12 I'm going to ask the assistant United States Attorney,

13 Mr. Richardson, to summarize in open court the terms of that

14 plea agreement. I want you to listen very carefully, because

15 I'm going to come back to you and ask you, is that consistent

16 with your understanding of your plea agreement. So listen

17 carefully.

18 Mr. Richardson?

19 MR. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honor.

20 Paragraph one recounts, as Your Honor just went through,

21 the charges to which he is agreeing to plead guilty to, the

22 elements of each of those offenses, and the maximum penalty.

23 Paragraph two addresses the manner in which any monetary

24 penalties imposed by the Court are to be addressed.

25 Paragraph three reflects the defendant's understanding


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 15 of 32
15

1 that he must comply with state laws, as well as any bond. And

2 that if he fails to comply with any of the provisions of the

3 plea agreement, that the Government's obligations will be

4 void.

5 Paragraph four reflects the defendant's agreement to be

6 fully truthful and forthright, and the circumstances

7 surrounding his required cooperation.

8 Paragraph five, Your Honor, reflects his agreement to

9 submit to a polygraph examination and pass it to the

10 Government's satisfaction, if requested.

11 Paragraph six reflects the circumstances under which

12 self-incriminating information could be used against Mr. Meek

13 in any future proceeding.

14 Paragraph seven reflects that if the defendant cooperates,

15 and that the Government deems that cooperation to be -- having

16 provided substantial assistance in the investigation or

17 prosecution of another person, that the Government agrees to

18 move or ask this court to take that into account at his

19 sentencing.

20 Paragraph eight reflects, as Your Honor went over earlier

21 with him, that the defendant has met with his attorney and is

22 satisfied with her representation.

23 Paragraph nine, as Your Honor mentioned briefly, reflects

24 the defendant's understanding of his rights to contest his

25 conviction --
2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 16 of 32
16

1 THE COURT: I want you to publish here that terms of

2 paragraph nine, if you might, sir.

3 MR. RICHARDSON: I anticipated; I will, Your Honor.

4 Paragraph nine reads: The defendant is aware that 18

5 U.S.C. Section 3742 and 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 afford every

6 defendant certain rights to contest a conviction and/or

7 sentence. Acknowledging those rights, the defendant, in

8 exchange for the concessions made by the Government in this

9 plea agreement, waives the right to contest either conviction

10 or the sentence in any direct appeal or other postconviction

11 action, including proceedings under 28 U.S.C. Section 2255.

12 This waiver does not apply to claims of ineffective assistance

13 of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, or future changes in the

14 law that affect the defendant's sentence.

15 This agreement does not affect the rights or obligations

16 of the Government as set forth in 18 U.S.C. Section 3742(b),

17 nor does it limit the Government in its comments or responses

18 to any post sentencing matters.

19 THE COURT: Let me just briefly -- we'll come back to

20 the plea agreement in just a minute.

21 Mr. Meek, I want to make sure you understand, because this

22 is an important waiver of a legal right, that you would be

23 waiving your right to appeal or to pursue postconviction

24 relief, other than in three narrow circumstances. First, if

25 there was prosecutorial misconduct; secondly, if there was


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 17 of 32
17

1 ineffective assistance of your counsel; or third, there was a

2 change in the law affecting your sentence. Other than that,

3 you would be waiving that right.

4 Do you understand that, sir?

5 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

6 THE COURT: Very good.

7 Mr. Richardson, please continue to paragraph ten.

8 MR. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honor.

9 Paragraph ten reflects the defendant's waiver of certain

10 rights under the Freedom of Information Act.

11 Paragraph 11 reflects that the parties agree that this

12 plea agreement contains the entire agreement.

13 And then on the last page, which is page ten, this is

14 signed by Joseph Meek, as Your Honor confirmed earlier, along

15 with his counsel and the Government.

16 THE COURT: Mr. Richardson, if you'll look on page

17 one, it refers, in paragraph one, to the misprision of a

18 felony, and it refers to it as 18 U.S.C. Section 3. Isn't it,

19 in fact, Section 4?

20 MR. RICHARDSON: It is, Your Honor.

21 THE COURT: Let's mark that change on the -- I

22 believe I have the original here. Let me hand it and let's

23 make it -- correct that change.

24 MR. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honor.

25 (Brief interruption in proceedings.)


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 18 of 32
18

1 THE COURT: Okay. Mr. Meek, you've heard the summary

2 provided by the assistant United States Attorney concerning

3 the amended plea agreement. Is that consistent with your

4 understanding of the plea agreement?

5 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

6 THE COURT: Very good. I'm now going to ask the

7 assistant United States Attorney to summarize the evidence the

8 Government would offer against you at a trial of this matter.

9 Now, Mr. Meek, this is a very important part of this

10 proceeding. I want you to listen very carefully. And I'm

11 going to come back to you and ask you, do you dispute any of

12 the facts that have been asserted, and if so, what specific

13 facts those are.

14 So, Mr. Richardson, let's take it slow.

15 MR. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honor. Through a variety

16 of different types of evidence, the Government, at a trial of

17 Mr. Meek, would prove that on June the 17th, 2015, Dylann

18 Storm Roof, motivated by racial hatred, opened fire with a

19 Glock .45 caliber pistol, as he sat in a Bible study at

20 Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston,

21 executing nine parishioners, and traumatizing the surviving

22 victims.

23 Prior to June the 17th, Roof told Joseph Meek that he was

24 going to shoot people at an AME church in Charleston. That he

25 was going to do so at a Bible study, that he was going to do


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 19 of 32
19

1 so on a Wednesday night. He told Mr. Meek that he, Roof, had

2 visited the church before and learned about the Bible study.

3 That he had been planning the attack for more than six months.

4 He told Mr. Meek that he was going to use a fanny pack to

5 carry the gun and magazines with him. And that he intended to

6 start a race war by doing so. Finally, Mr. Roof told Mr. Meek

7 that after the attack, that Mr. Roof was going to kill

8 himself.

9 Upon learning, on the night of the 17th, of the attack at

10 Mother Emanuel in Charleston, Meek told others that he knew

11 Roof had committed the attack. Yet, despite the fact that law

12 enforcement continued to frantically search for the identity

13 of the shooter and to locate Mr. Roof, Meek did not call law

14 enforcement that night. Instead, Meek told others not to

15 contact the police with the information about Roof.

16 THE COURT: Did others indicate their intention to do

17 that, to him?

18 MR. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honor, but that

19 conversation occurred, most cleanly, on the morning of

20 June 18th, which I'm about to describe.

21 THE COURT: Okay.

22 MR. RICHARDSON: On the morning of June the 18th, one

23 of Mr. Meek's friends told Meek that they had to do something

24 and report Roof as being the shooter. In response, Mr. Meek

25 then told the friend to not contact the police.


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 20 of 32
20

1 Despite that instruction, the friend called an FBI tip

2 line anyway, informing the FBI that Roof had committed the

3 offense.

4 That friend then contacted Mr. Meek. And only then

5 learning that the friend had already contacted law

6 enforcement, and a photograph of Roof had been distributed,

7 only at that point did Meek then call law enforcement himself.

8 Later, on June the 18th, Meek was interviewed by a special

9 agent with the FBI. During that interview Mr. Meek denied

10 advance knowledge of any details of Roof's plans, and claimed

11 that Roof had not spoken of a target of his attack.

12 On June the 20th the FBI agents again interviewed

13 Mr. Meek. While Meek at first continued to deny advance

14 knowledge of Mr. Roof's plans, Meek ultimately admitted that

15 he had lied to the FBI agents, and detailed the information

16 that Roof had told Meek in advance, including that Roof was

17 going to shoot people at an AME church in Charleston, that he

18 was going to do so on Wednesday night Bible study, that he had

19 visited the church and learned about the Bible study, that

20 he'd been planning it for more than six months, that he had a

21 lot of magazines for his pistol, that he was going to use a

22 fanny pack, and that Roof was doing this in order to start a

23 race war, because no one else would do it.

24 And finally, Your Honor, he also explained that Mr. Roof

25 had indicated that he was going to kill himself after the


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 21 of 32
21

1 shooting.

2 THE COURT: Okay. Mr. Meek, you have heard the

3 summary provided by the assistant United States Attorney. Do

4 you dispute any of those facts?

5 THE DEFENDANT: No, Your Honor.

6 THE COURT: Let me have you articulate in your own

7 words for me, first of all, your awareness of Mr. Roof's plans

8 prior to that night. What did you know?

9 THE DEFENDANT: Well, he told me while he was talking

10 the week before it happened, I didn't know of it until it

11 actually happened.

12 THE COURT: Well, the week before it happened, what

13 did he tell you about his plan?

14 THE DEFENDANT: That he was going to go down to

15 Charleston and do what he did.

16 THE COURT: Did he tell you that he intended to go to

17 an AME church?

18 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

19 THE COURT: Did he tell you he had been scouting the

20 church?

21 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

22 THE COURT: Did he tell you he had a gun and he

23 intended to use it?

24 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

25 THE COURT: Did he tell you he had extra bullets so


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 22 of 32
22

1 he could kill as many people as possible?

2 THE DEFENDANT: There were no bullets at the time,

3 but there were clips.

4 THE COURT: Clips? Did he tell you he had clips?

5 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

6 THE COURT: And that he intended to shoot multiple

7 people?

8 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

9 THE COURT: Did he tell you it was going to be on a

10 Wednesday night?

11 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

12 THE COURT: Did he tell you it was going to be a

13 Bible study? At a Bible study?

14 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

15 THE COURT: Did he tell you he'd been planning this

16 for a number of months?

17 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

18 THE COURT: Now, on the night of the event, did you

19 know that it was Mr. Roof who had done this?

20 THE DEFENDANT: Well, since he had told me a week

21 before, I had in my mind that it was him.

22 THE COURT: You had a high degree of confidence it

23 was him?

24 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

25 THE COURT: And did you share that with anybody that
2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 23 of 32
23

1 night?

2 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

3 THE COURT: Who did you report that to?

4 THE DEFENDANT: I didn't call law enforcement.

5 THE COURT: I know, but who did you tell? Did you

6 tell some friends that night?

7 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

8 THE COURT: Who were those friends?

9 THE DEFENDANT: Dalton Tyler, Lindsey Fry, Cassy

10 Mullseller, (phonetic) Chris -- I don't know his last name.

11 THE COURT: Y'all happened to be together that

12 evening?

13 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

14 THE COURT: Did any of them indicate that they -- did

15 you ask them then or did you tell them then not to report it

16 to anybody?

17 THE DEFENDANT: Well, I anticipated myself and just

18 saying I was going to wait until there was a picture to know

19 for sure.

20 THE COURT: Did you tell them that night or the next

21 morning that not to report it?

22 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

23 THE COURT: Did you tell them, first of all, that

24 night, not to report it?

25 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 24 of 32
24

1 THE COURT: And then the next morning, when your --

2 when one of the friends told you he was going to report it,

3 you encouraged him not to report it, is that correct?

4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

5 THE COURT: You were seeking to conceal it, correct?

6 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

7 THE COURT: Now, let's talk about the statement to

8 the FBI agent. You were interviewed several days later by an

9 FBI agent?

10 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

11 THE COURT: And the first time, did you deny your

12 knowledge of the plan?

13 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

14 THE COURT: Did you know when you made that statement

15 that it was false?

16 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

17 THE COURT: Did you know that it was part of a

18 criminal investigation at that time?

19 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

20 THE COURT: And you knew you were being asked by an

21 FBI agent making that investigation, correct?

22 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

23 THE COURT: And you made that false statement

24 knowingly to him, did you not?

25 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 25 of 32
25

1 THE COURT: You intended to mislead him, did you not?

2 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

3 THE COURT: Okay. Mr. Richardson, are you satisfied

4 with those responses?

5 MR. RICHARDSON: I am, Your Honor.

6 THE COURT: Miss Barbier, anything you wish to add to

7 that?

8 MS. BARBIER: No, Your Honor.

9 THE COURT: Okay. It is the finding of the Court in

10 the matter of the United States versus Joseph Meek, that the

11 defendant is fully competent and capable of entering an

12 informed plea, that the defendant is aware of the nature of

13 the charges and the consequences of the plea, and that the

14 plea of guilty is a knowing and voluntary plea, supported by

15 an independent basis in fact, containing each of the essential

16 elements of the offense. The plea is, therefore, accepted,

17 and the defendant is now adjudged guilty of the offense.

18 Miss Ravenel will hand the guilty plea for Mr. Meek's

19 signature.

20 Mr. Meek, let me talk to you about the process from here.

21 A presentence report will be prepared by my probation

22 department. And it will provide me a fairly detailed

23 background on you, your personal history, family history, any

24 prior criminal history, and the facts relating to this

25 particular matter.
2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 26 of 32
26

1 The probation officer will sit down with you; Miss Barbier

2 can join you for that. The probation officer does not work

3 for the prosecutor or for the defense. The probation officer

4 works for me. And it's to provide me the initial sentencing

5 information. We will then have a sentencing hearing at a

6 point in the future, at which point I will address the issue

7 of sentencing.

8 Now, Miss Barbier, are there further matters to come

9 before the court at this point from the defense?

10 MS. BARBIER: Your Honor, just a matter with respect

11 to bond, and I don't know if Your Honor wants to get into

12 that.

13 THE COURT: Does the Government oppose the

14 continuation of bond?

15 MR. RICHARDSON: We do not, Your Honor, we don't

16 think the facts have changed since the bond was set.

17 THE COURT: Mr. Meek, you understand that on bond

18 there are certain standards of behavior you must maintain.

19 You understand that, sir?

20 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

21 THE COURT: And now that you have pled guilty,

22 obviously it is even more important for you to maintain those

23 standards of behavior. And you're pledging to me you will do

24 that, correct?

25 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 27 of 32
27

1 THE COURT: You understand, should you violate those,

2 I would immediately revoke your bond and you would be

3 incarcerated. Do you understand that?

4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

5 THE COURT: Okay. The bond will continue under the

6 same terms.

7 Are there further matters the defense needs to address at

8 this point?

9 MS. BARBIER: Just one matter, Your Honor. I've

10 discussed this with the Government. There is one condition of

11 his bond that we believe is no longer necessary, and has

12 worked a great hardship on Mr. Meek's family, and that is his

13 ability to communicate with his brothers. His two brothers

14 are on a list of people that he's to have no contact with.

15 And we would ask that that condition be lifted. The

16 Government has agreed to it and does not have an objection to

17 it.

18 THE COURT: Just for the record, I see you nodding,

19 Mr. Richardson, that that is correct?

20 MR. RICHARDSON: We have no objection to that change,

21 Your Honor.

22 THE COURT: Very good. Bond will be modified to

23 remove the brothers from the no contact list.

24 MS. BARBIER: Thank you, Your Honor.

25 THE COURT: Why don't you return to your seat at this


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 28 of 32
28

1 point.

2 Mr. Richardson, are there any victims who wish to be

3 heard?

4 MR. RICHARDSON: Your Honor, I believe that we do.

5 THE COURT: I'll be glad -- we're here to hear from

6 anyone who wishes to be heard.

7 MR. RICHARDSON: Beg the Court's indulgence, Your

8 Honor.

9 THE COURT: Take your time.

10 MR. RICHARDSON: Yes, we do have one.

11 THE COURT: Very good. If you could come to the

12 podium and state your name, please, sir.

13 MR. RICHARDSON: Your Honor, he is being assisted by

14 a sign language interpreter.

15 THE COURT: Very good.

16 INTERPRETER: My name is Gary Washington. And I want

17 to talk about my mother. I was always with my mother in the

18 church, I always helped her, she was always with me. Every

19 day and weekly at the church she cleaned.

20 Now I want to talk about what happened, about what went

21 on, what happened in the church. I met my mother at the

22 church that day and I hugged her, I told her to be careful,

23 and then I left to go to work. I had no idea then until all

24 the police cars, and I knew something was going on. What in

25 the world.
2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 29 of 32
29

1 Then when I was finished with work at 2:00 in the morning,

2 I arrived home and I turned on the news, and I couldn't

3 believe, downtown at my mom's church, I was shocked to see

4 what had happened. So I ran to the church, and everything was

5 blocked by the police. And I tried to contact to see if my

6 mother was all right, and I was told maybe not. And I felt

7 really bad.

8 And then I went back to the church and had to go to a

9 hotel. And I went in. Lots of people looked at me, and my

10 sister said I had to go into this room. And asked what was

11 wrong, and they said, "Your mother has died." And I was

12 shocked and I was so hurt and cried. I just wanted to know

13 why, who did this? And I mean, I never met this white boy

14 before. It was the first time that he would go into the

15 church, I just don't understand and I didn't like it.

16 You know, Mother was nice, Christians are supposed to go

17 to church. And then I had my family members here, if y'all

18 stand up. She went with my mother to church. She was a

19 Christian, and she goes too. My family. I just want you to

20 know how we feel.

21 I have no family, you know, it was always me with Mom. My

22 sisters go, but I'm deaf, so Mom was always with me. And I

23 don't have anyone to help me. I am miserable and I have

24 suffered. But I'm going to try to continue to work. But I

25 feel really bad.


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 30 of 32
30

1 So I'm glad that we have a lawyer to help us. And then

2 the Court case was postponed and I was angry about that.

3 So -- hold on a second -- something about 50 percent

4 cooperation here -- Anyway, it's made a mess in the family. I

5 don't like that. We used to cooperate, everything was nice, a

6 lot of respect and involved in the church. But now everything

7 has kind of fallen apart and everything has happened. And

8 then Dylann is in prison.

9 And, you know, so -- and people were complaining about

10 other things, and I told them just to calm down. And then

11 when I'm ready to go to court, I will go to court, because my

12 sisters have gone. And when my sisters were there and never

13 picked me up to take me. So this is the first time that I've

14 come here, and I'm happy that I am here, and I'm happy that

15 you're here in court.

16 I guess I'll take care of myself and take care of my

17 children and take care of my family and my nieces and nephews

18 and be sure that they're all right. And we're good. Anyway,

19 I love them all, still love church, we still go to the church

20 to pray, and I'll take care of myself. And thank you.

21 THE COURT: Thank you, sir. Any others like to

22 speak?

23 MR. RICHARDSON: Not at this time, Your Honor.

24 THE COURT: Very good.

25 Anything further from the Government?


2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 31 of 32
31

1 MR. RICHARDSON: Nothing, Your Honor.

2 THE COURT: Hearing is adjourned.

4 (Hearing adjourned at 1:48 p.m.)

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25
2:15-cr-00633-RMG Date Filed 06/06/16 Entry Number 74 Page 32 of 32

1 REPORTER'S CERTIFICATION

3 I, Debra L. Potocki, RMR, RDR, CRR, Official Court

4 Reporter for the United States District Court for the District

5 of South Carolina, hereby certify that the foregoing is a true

6 and correct transcript of the stenographically recorded above

7 proceedings.

10
S/Debra L. Potocki
11 _______________________________

12 Debra L. Potocki, RMR, RDR, CRR

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25