Joey Meek, a childhood friend of convicted murderer Dylann Roof, has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for misleading the FBI following the 2015 Charleston Church Massacre, for which Roof was recently sentenced to death. Meek reportedly spent time with Roof in the week prior to the shooting but didn’t believe he’d carry out his threats of killing people at a historically black church. Authorities didn’t prosecute Meek for failing to report the threat, although he was sentenced for hindering the investigation of Roof’s crimes:
In a deal with prosecutors, Meek pleaded guilty to concealment of a crime and lying to the FBI.
Meek was not charged for failing to tell police about the impending attack, since that is not a crime under federal law. Instead, he was prosecuted for stopping a friend immediately after the slaughter from calling the police to report Roof as a suspect.
Meek was on probation for a burglary offense at the time and was reportedly nervous that if he came forward, he could face further repercussions for being linked to Roof. However, Meek also stopped his friend from contacting authorities, and with these two offenses, he’s facing the minimum time in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.
While in court, Meek reportedly appeared remorseful for his crime, a stark contrast from Roof, who offered no apology and openly laughed during a video confessional. In court, Meek said, “I’m really, really sorry. A lot of beautiful lives were taken.” ABC News adds that he sent letters to the families of the victims: “I ask for your forgiveness, but I don’t expect it.”