Friday, July 31, 2009
Daily Women's Health Policy Report: Man Charged With Murder of Abortion Provider Tiller Pleads Not Guilty:
Scott Roeder, the man charged with the May 31 shooting death of abortion provider George Tiller, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated assault at a Wichita, Kan., hearing on Tuesday, the AP/Boston Globe reports (AP/Boston Globe, 7/29). After witnesses described events surrounding the shooting, the judge presiding over the hearing concluded that there was sufficient evidence to try Roeder. Tiller was murdered in the foyer of his church, where he was serving as an usher. According to several church members who testified Tuesday, Roeder occasionally had come to the church in the months before the shooting.
The trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 21 (Davey, New York Times, 7/28). At the hearing, Roeder made no public comments, and the not-guilty plea was entered by the public defender representing him in the case (AP/Boston Globe, 7/29).
If convicted, Roeder likely will face life in prison, as the case does not meet state criteria for the death penalty. His lawyers declined to comment on their defense plans (New York Times, 7/28).