As 27-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson headed to court this morning, prosecutors said the man intended to kill at least 10 white people in his September 2017 retaliatory racist attack on the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville. He killed one woman and wounded seven other people during his attack.
In opening statements, Deputy District Attorney Amy Hunter said a note found in Samson’s car referenced a 2015 massacre by a white supremacist at a predominantly black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
According to an arrest affidavit, Samson, who is black, waived his rights and told police he arrived armed at the church and fired on white churchgoers.
Samson’s attorney claimed her client was suicidal and wanted to die that day.
Prosecutors are seeking life without parole for Samson, who faces a 43-count indictment, including a first-degree murder charge.