Arkansas Man Faces July Trial for Nearly Hitting Pro-Life Advocates With Car

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 7, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arkansas Man Faces July Trial for Nearly Hitting Pro-Life Advocates With Car

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 7
, 2009

Fayetville, AR (LifeNews.com) — An Arkansas man faces a January trial in connection with an incident that saw him nearly hit a group of pro-life people outside an abortion business last October. Jason Bryant Shireman was apprehended by police and charged with three counts of aggravated assault following the altercation.

The pro-life advocates were standing on the curb just off of College Avenue in front of the Fayetteville Women’s Clinic abortion business.

According to the Northwest Arkansas Times, witnesses at the scene say Shireman purposefully drove his suburban onto the curb in an attempt to hit or scare the sidewalk counselors outside the abortion center.

Shireman told police that he drove onto the sidewalk to show the pro-life students "what he thought about them" but denied trying to hit them with the vehicle.

The charges include a class D felony with a prison sentence of up to six years and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

Now, a bench trial has been set for July 29 before 4th Judicial Circuit Judge William Storey. It had been set for Wednesday but a police officer in the case was recently called up to Army reserves and will not be able to testify.

The pro-life advocates consisted mostly of students from Subiaco Academy who were taking part in the 40 Days of Life event. They were praying for the staff of the abortion facility and women going there for abortions at the time of the incident.

The Times said Shireman was taken to the Washington County jail and later released on a $3,500 bond after the incident.

Vehicles have been used in the past to target pro-life advocates — with Wichita, Kansas abortion practitioner George Tiller allegedly hitting pro-life advocate Mark Gietzen in an April 2006 incident.

In the incident in question, Gietzen says that as he and another man were measuring the driveway to Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services abortion center to comply with a law keeping pro-life advocates at a certain distance from it.

According to eyewitnesses, Tiller accelerated his Jeep Grand Cherokee directly at them, even turning to continue to aim at them as they began to move out of the way. Tiller’s Jeep struck Gietzen as he attempted to move, bruising his arm and leg, and causing pain for several months.

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