First Hearing for Alleged Shooter of Abortion Practitioner George Tiller Delayed
by Steven Ertelt
June 26, 2009
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — The preliminary hearing for Scott Roeder, the Kansas man accused of shooting late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller, has been delayed. Sedgwick County District Judge Warren Wilbert on Friday said he wanted to allow attorneys for Roeder and prosecutors to have another month to prepare.
Judge Wilbert set a date on Friday of July 28 for the hearing.
Should he find probable cause that Roeder shot Tiller, an arraignment to enter a plea could occur on the same day.
Roeder, who has no affiliation with any pro-life groups, has been charged with first-degree murder in Tiller’s death and also been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly waving a gun at two members of Tiller’s church, where he was shot.
The judge also told prosecutors that they must provide a evidence to defense lawyers by July 10 so they can prepare Roeder’s case in time for the hearing.
Previously, Judge Wilbert set Roeder’s bond at $5 million, reversing a previous decision to jail Roeder without bail.
If convicted on the murder charge, Roeder would face a mandatory life sentence in prison and would not be eligible for parole for 25 years.
The 51-year-old Kansas man has been identified as a member of anti-government militia groups and that appears to be the motivation for killing Tiller rather than any link to pro-life organizations attempting to protect women and children from abortions.
In an interview with AP, Roeder said he was upset how he is being portrayed with a "broad brush" as harboring anti-government views.
"I want people to stop and think: It is not anti-government; it is anti-corrupt government," Roeder said.
Lindsey Roeder, who divorced Roeder in 1996 after 10 years of marriage, told the Topeka Capital-Journal that Roeder had a mental evaluation in the mid 1990s and suffered from mental illness. She said he always held extremist anti-government views.
Although he did not believe he had any mental health issues, everyone else did," she told the newspaper.
He just felt these were his views, she said of his position supporting the killing of people who kill others, such as abortion practitioners. "He followed the view of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
"It scared me," she said of his approach, which has been linked to militia and anti-government groups and attitudes.
Meanwhile, Roeder’s family released a statement, according to the newspaper, saying. We are shocked, horrified and filled with sadness at the death of Dr. Tiller and the circumstances surrounding it that may have involved Scott Roeder."
The statement confirmed the mental health problems, saying We know Scott as a kind and loving son, brother and father who suffered from mental illness at various times in his life."
After serving 16 months in prison years ago following a parole violation after officials found a license plate altered with anti-government slogans and bombmaking materials in his car and home, a Shawnee County District Court judge said Roeder presented a "threat of danger to the public."
Roeder has no links to any legitimate pro-life group other than a couple of postings on a public forum on a pro-life web site. Otherwise, he has never been a volunteer of, staff member of or in any way associated with either national, state or local pro-life groups.
That and hundreds of condemnations of the Tiller shooting from pro-life groups hasn’t stopped abortion advocates from exploiting Tiller’s death for political gain and blaming pro-life advocates for his death.
The Obama administration has also come under fire for ignoring alleged vandalism of another abortion center prior to the shooting.
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.