Suspected George Tiller Shooter Scott Roeder Won’t be Charged Today in Killing

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Suspected George Tiller Shooter Scott Roeder Won’t be Charged Today in Killing

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 1
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Local authorities are not expected to file charges today against Kansas resident Scott Roeder related to the shooting death of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller. Roeder is suspected of killing Tiller Sunday morning at his church with a handgun.

Roeder, who has no connections with the pro-life movement but has ties with anti-government militia groups, is currently detained at Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of murder and aggravated assault.

Local prosecutors had expected to bring Roeder before a court today to officially file charges, but it appears their investigation will continue today and that it will be tomorrow before that happens.

In a press conference Monday morning they confirmed that charges had not yet been filed and did not release any new information other than to say that the FBI has also been investigating the case.

Roeder will likely be charged with murder in connection with Tiller’s death and may face aggravated assault charges for allegedly threatening two members of Tiller’s church with his gun during the confrontation.

Roeder, a 51-year-old white male, was arrested near the Gardner exit of Interstate 35 south of Kansas City hours after the shooting.

He is being held without bond in the Sedgwick County Adult Detention Facility.

As has been the case with most previous incidents of abortion-related violence, Roeder appears to have an affiliation with extremist political groups but not with the mainstream pro-life movement.

Morris Wilson, a commander of the Kansas Unorganized Citizens Militia in the mid-1990s, told The Kansas City Star he knew Roeder well.

In 1996, officials in Kansas apparently stopped his vehicle for not having a valid license plate, which he altered as an act of anti-governmental protest. His license plate apparently had slogans such as "Private Property, Immunity Declared at Law, Non-Commercial American."

According to the Kansas City Star, the FBI suspected Roeder of having ties with the Montana Freemen, a militia group, which had standoffs with authorities.

The Star indicates that, after he was apprehended on an interstate highway in the prior incident, a search of his vehicle resulted in obtaining bombmaking material, including gunpowder and two six-volt lantern batteries.

In his home, authorities found a two-page bombmaking instruction manual.

Roeder has spent time in prison, including a 16-month stint after violating the terms of his parole related to the license plate incident.

Roeder’s only ties to pro-life groups appear to be messages he left on the public forum at the Operation Rescue web site concerning Tiller. But the group has said Roeder was never involved in it.

Deputy Chief Tom Stolz, at a press conference on Sunday, indicated the Wichita police department would investigate Roeder’s past and background and look into the comments.

"We think we have the right person arrested," said Wichita police Detective Tom Stoltz. "We will investigate this suspect to the Nth degree — his history, his family, his associates — and we are just in the beginning stages of that."

Hundreds of pro-life groups have condemned the shooting while abortion advocates have used it as an opportunity to blast pro-life people and accuse them of being responsible for Tiller’s death.

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