Scott Roeder Will Testify in His Own Defense on Killing Abortionist George Tiller
by Steven Ertelt
January 27, 2010
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — Scott Roeder, the former militia activist who has no ties to the pro-life movement, is expected to take the stand on Thursday in his own defense. Roeder stands accused of killing late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller, and has already admitted doing so.
Defense attorney Steve Osburn tells AP that Roeder will testify tomorrow when the defense presents its case.
Roeder is charged with first-degree murder in shooting Tiller, the late-term abortion practitioner whom pro-life groups already have exposed for illegal abortions and killing a mentally-disabled woman in a botched abortion.
Roeder is expected to talk about abortion as a reason for killing Tiller, even though pro-life groups solidly condemned it.
The main charge would net Roeder a life term in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. However, his defense attorneys are asking that they be allowed to mount a manslaughter defense on his behalf, employing a rarely-used section of Kansas law.
Voluntary manslaughter is defined in Kansas law as ”an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force.”
Roeder may try to make his case for the lesser charge even though District Judge Warren Wilbert ruled Wednesday that the defense can’t use testimony from Deputy Attorney General Barry Disney, who tried to prosecute Tiller.
Meanwhile, AP indicates Judge Wilbert warned people in the courtroom on Wednesday to quit showing emotion one way or the other.
He said he would no longer tolerate "moans, groans," or other "verbal outbursts," after several members of the audience interjected their views on rulings, comments or motions during the trial. He said violators would be charged with contempt of court.
"I don’t want the jury to be distracted by anything in the gallery," Wilbert said.
Abortion has already been brought up in the courtroom and the jury heard that Roeder, who has no affiliation with any pro-life organization, visited Tiller’s church several time before shooting him there last summer.
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