Joey Meek, a friend of the man who killed nine black people at a Charleston, S.C., church in June, pleaded not guilty today to charges of lying to investigators and concealing information.
The charging documents allege that Meek, 21, lied to a federal agent when he said 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," although the indictment does not say how investigators determined Meek was lying. Bail was set at $100,000.
As the Two-Way reported, Meek was arrested Thursday after he received a letter on Aug. 6, alerting him that he was the subject of a federal criminal investigation connected to the Charleston shooting. The Columbia, S.C., newspaper The State reported on the arrest:
"Agents picked up Joseph 'Joey' Meek Jr., 21, of Red Bank while he was at work Thursday afternoon, his girlfriend Lindsey Fry told The State newspaper just before 4 p.m.
"Meek called her on his cell phone as it was happening, Fry said.
" 'He just said, "They want to talk to me, but I think I'm going to jail," ' Fry told The State.
"Meek lives in a trailer in Red Bank with his mother, two brothers and Fry."
The Associated Press reported that Meek spent time with Roof in the weeks before the massacre. The report said Roof drunkenly complained that "blacks were taking over the world" and "someone needed to do something about it for the white race."
Meek also said he knew Roof had a .45-caliber Glock semi-automatic handgun that he took from Roof on the night of his drunken rant. He later returned the gun to Roof when was sober.
Meek and his family were the subject of a Washington Post feature that details their life in a trailer and Meek's relationship with Roof.
"[Meek] has an amateur tattoo on his forearm that says "loyalty," which translates into an open-door policy for whichever troubled friend happens to show up at the trailer. Lindsey was one of those, and so was Roof, a childhood friend who got back in touch this spring after a lapse of several years.
"Joey was happy to hear from him. For one thing, Roof had a car and could take them places, including, one day, a lake. He dropped the Meeks off there and disappeared. The next day Joey and Lindsey were in the trailer behind theirs with friends when Lindsey saw the news alert on her phone.
" 'He did it,' Joey remembers thinking immediately."
Roof is facing nine counts of murder and federal hate crime charges.