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Malcolm Graham Remembers Sister In Testimony At Dylann Roof Trial

Malcolm Graham holds a portrait of his sister, Cynthia Hurd.
Courtesy of Malcolm Graham

Charlotte resident Malcolm Graham told jurors in the Dylann Roof trial Friday how much of a void is in his life because of the murder of his sister. Cynthia Hurd is one of the nine people whom Roof killed at Charleston’s  Emanuel AME Church in June of 2015.

Alexandra Olgin of South Carolina Public Radio spoke to WFAE from the federal courthouse in Charleston. She says Graham told a story about his sister, a librarian for over 30 years, after the birth of his first child.

"He said she would always give him books wrapped as gifts. And in each of those books, she would write a hand-written note. He actually had one of those books on the stand when he testified. He read from a note after his first daughter was born. She said, ‘Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter.’ She called the birth a wonderful gift from God. She said she believed in his ability and judgment as a parent to make wise decisions, and if he ever had doubt, he could refer to his wise parents as examples."

Family members of Dylann Roof's murder victims are giving victim impact statements to the court. Graham is a former state senator and member of Charlotte City Council. He also told juror that the advice she gave him after losing his first race help him win in his next election. That advice was to get more people in his neighborhood involved in his campaign instead of relying so much on family and friends.