Church suspect's friend charged with lying

Posted at 7:32 AM, Sep 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-18 10:32:29-04

Joey Meek, a friend of accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, has been indicted on charges of concealing information related to the shootings and of making false statements to the FBI, including withholding details of Roof's plan, according to court documents unsealed Friday.

Meek is scheduled to appear at 11 a.m. ET Friday in U.S. District Court in Columbia, South Carolina, according to court documents.

In the days after the shooting, Meek spoke with reporters with CNN and other media outlets, recounting how Roof had drunkenly vowed one night "to do something crazy."

Meek said he hid Roof's gun that night but put it back the next day.

"I didn't take him serious,' he said.

But according to the indictment, Meek may have known more than he let on.

Prosecutors allege Meek told an FBI agent questioning him after the shootings that "he did not know specifics of Dylann Roof's plan to shoot individuals on a Wednesday, during Bible Study, at an AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina."

In reality, prosecutors say, "Meek's statements and representations denying such specifics were false, fictitious and fraudulent when made."

The indictment also charges Meek with failing to notify authorities of the shooting "as soon as possible."

Meek told CNN that he heard the description of the suspect the next morning and called the FBI to give authorities details of what Roof was wearing and the license plate on his car.

Church massacre

Nine people died in the June 17 Bible study massacre, including the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who also was a state senator.

Police captured Roof in North Carolina the day after the attack and brought him back to South Carolina. He admitted to the killings, police said.

If convicted, Roof, 21, could face the death penalty.

Friend said shooting could have been stopped

Meek told CNN shortly after the shooting that he had been friends with Roof in middle school. They'd lost touch a few years ago but reconnected in recent months, Meek said, adding that there were things about Roof's recent behavior that scared him.

Roof said he wanted to have "a race war," according to Meek, and once asked his friend to videotape him burning an American flag.

"I'm sorry this all happened to everybody," Meek said in June. "And it could have been prevented if people would have taken him serious. But Dylann wasn't a serious person, and no one took him serious."