Dylann Roof was sentenced to death Tuesday for killing nine people at a Charleston, South Carolina, church in 2015.
Roof's convictions include hate crimes resulting in death. His victims in a Bible study class at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church were black. According to the Justice Department, Roof's death sentence is the first involving a hate crime, the Associated Press reports.
Roof, who confessed to the killings, represented himself in court and did not testify or present any evidence. Before jurors began deliberations on the sentence Tuesday, Roof told them "I still feel like I had to do it," ABC says.
CNN reports a group of attorneys who worked on Roof's behalf said in a statement: "We are sorry that, despite our best efforts, the legal proceedings have shed so little light on the reasons for this tragedy."
Their statement also said the case may not be over "for a very long time." The New York Times explains there could be years of appeals. Courts might decide to consider Roof's mental competency. The scarcity of lethal injection drugs could also delay an execution, the Times says.