When Scott Roeder (pictured) gunned down Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in May, several conservatives thought he’d done a great thing. Roeder thinks so too, and tried to enter as a “necessity defense” that he was protecting “preborn children.”
Judge Warren Wilbert, presiding over Roeder’s trial, is not having it. Wilbert denied the motion, as well as Roeder’s motion to have the trial moved out of Wichita — his lawyer claimed “inflammatory statements” made by citizens and reported in the press would prejudice his case — and his motion to ban prosecutors from ruling out jurors based on their beliefs on abortion.
Roeder’s lawyer is still expected to argue at trial that his client’s beliefs mitigate his culpability. Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory thinks this might help Roeder get away with conviction on a lesser charge than first-degree murder. The trial starts next month.