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Scott Roeder Convicted of First Degree Murder of George Tiller

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By Kamika Dunlap on January 29, 2010 1:50 PM

Anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder was convicted of first degree murder in the fatal shooting of Dr. George Tiller.

According to the New York Times, Roeder, 51, who testified he does not regret George Tiller killing now faces a life sentence in prison. Tiller was known as one of the few doctors in the country to perform late-term abortions.

Many abortion rights supporters say his first degree murder conviction sends a message that violence against abortion doctors is not justified and will be punished.

Scott Roeder found guilty on the following counts:

  • First Degree Premeditated Murder
  • Aggravated Assault (for waving a gun and threatening to shoot a man who tried to stop Roeder from escaping).
  • Aggravated Assault (for waving a gun and threatening to shoot a second man who tried to stop Roeder from escaping).

Roeder's defense lawyers called for his acquittal, arguing that he had strong religious feelings against abortion and he was ultimately compelled to shoot Dr. Tiller.

Tiller ran a women's clinic where he performed abortions in Wichita, Kansas. He was fatally shot at his church on May 31, and prosecutors say it was not just premeditated murder but it was "a planned assassination."

In addition, prosecutors portrayed Tiller as a target of Roeder's anti-abortion agenda.

It took the jury just 37 minutes to decide on the three charges against Scott Roeder.

Roeder is scheduled to be sentenced on March 9.

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