Scott Roeder, admitted killer of Dr. George Tiller, took the stand today, the only witness for the defense after the judge refused to allow former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline to testify on Roeder's behalf. Kline was expected to testify that he had gathered evidence that Dr. Tiller was performing illegal abortions, even though Dr. Tiller was tried and acquitted of all such charges.
Roeder was unrepentant on the stand.
Scott Roder, 51, said he shot and killed Dr. George Tiller as services began on May 31 to save the lives of the unborn.
"There was nothing being done and the legal process had been exhausted, and these babies were dying every day," Roeder said. "I did what I thought was needed to be done to protect the children."
When the defense rested, the judge ruled that the jury would not be allowed to consider the lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter or second degree murder. The defense had hoped to make the argument that Roeder acted out of defense of the "preborn" in order to protect them from the "imminent" threat posed by Dr. Tiller.
Some of Roeder's supporters have been gathered outside the court house to show their support for him.
Among Roeder’s supporters attending besides Bray are Dave Leach, of Des Moines, who once published the Army of God manual, a how-to book on abortion clinic violence; Jennifer McCoy of Wichita, who spent time in prison for two abortion clinic arsons in Virginia; Regina Dinwiddie of Kansas City, who calls Roeder a hero; and Joshua Graff, who spent three years in prison for a 1993 clinic arson in the Houston area.
The jury will hear closing arguments tomorrow.