Scott Roeder Convicted of Killing Abortion Doctor, First Degree Murder

Cheryl Phillips's picture

It took all of 37 minutes for the jury to find Scott Roeder guilty of first degree murder. Roeder admitted to killing Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller on May 31, 2009. Scott Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Missouri was found guilty of premeditated, first-degree murder on Friday morning, January 29, 2010.

Roeder had confessed publicly prior to the trial and admitted again on the witness stand that he shot Dr. Tiller in the head. The shooting happened in the foyer of the church where the doctor was serving as an usher.

Scott Roeder testified he felt the lives of unborn children were in "immediate danger" because of Tiller so he killed him.

The late Dr. Tiller was not without his own controversy prior to his death. Tiller was one of the nation's few providers of late-term abortions. His Wichita, Kansas clinic was the site of many protests. A former state district attorney also accused Tiller of skirting Kansas' abortion laws.

The case against Scott Roeder was tried strictly on the fact that he killed a man. The subject of abortion was avoided by prosecutors as District Court Judge Warren Wilbert did not want the trial to become a debate on abortion.

Wilbert did, however, allow Roeder to discuss his views on abortion because his attorneys said they were integral to their case.

Scott Roeder faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years when he is sentenced March 9.

See video of Scott Roeder in court when the verdict is read here.

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