On May 31, 2009, Scott Roeder walked into the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas, waited for the right opportunity, and shot and killed George Tiller.
He has confessed to it numerous times, and today, he basically hung himself in Court.
During the trial, Roeder’s defense attorneys tried to present a defense that would hopefully result in a conviction on voluntary manslaughter. As such, to justify the lesser charge, Roeder verbally gave everything needed to secure a conviction of first-degree murder.
On the stand, Roeder revealed he had been trying to find the chance to kill Tiller since August 2008, over 9 months of trying. He even considered a sniper shot while Tiller was walking into his clinic, but he knew that Tiller drove an armored vehicle, wore body armor, and had a security detail.
Seeing the church as the opportunity to kill him, Roeder showed up, armed, at the church numerous times while. On May 31, Roeder finally got his opportunity, shooting Tiller in the church foyer.
But today, the judge in the case ruled against allowing the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. Roeder now faces conviction of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
While I feel, that given the extreme pre-meditated nature of this crime, Roeder should have been subject to the death penalty, I am relieved he is not. The last thing we need to do is make Roeder another Paul Jennings Hill, or give the extremist or militant pro-life lobby another martyr.
Unless there is a dereliction of duty by the jury, Scott Phillip Roeder will be convicted of "murder one" for killing George Tiller. What started off as a controversial and rocky case will come to a sure and just end.
There will likely be appeals, and they will likely, and hopefully, fail.
The fact of the matter is that Scott Roeder killed a man in cold blood in the foyer of a church. This didn’t happen in Tiller’s clinic while he was preparing to perform an abortion. Roeder killed Tiller in a church, shooting Tiller in the head because Roeder knew that Tiller had the tendency to wear body armor.
At least Roeder likely will be sitting in jail for the rest of his life, unless, as I said, there is an extreme derelict of duty on the part of the jury.