Roeder Gets Life Sentence in Abortion Slaying

Anti-abortion activist murdered Dr. George Tiller
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 1, 2010 5:59 PM CDT
Roeder Gets Life Sentence in Abortion Slaying
Jeanne Tiller, widow of slain abortion doctor George Tiller, hugs a family member during the sentencing.   (AP Photo/Jeff Tuttle, Pool)

An anti-abortion zealot convicted of murdering a prominent Kansas abortion doctor was sentenced today to life in prison and won't be eligible for parole for 50 years—the maximum allowed by law. Scott Roeder, 52, faced a mandatory life prison term for gunning down Dr. George Tiller in the back of Tiller's Wichita church last May. Tiller was one of the few US doctors who performed late-term abortions.

The judge could have made the 52-year-old Roeder eligible for parole after 25 or 50 years. He gave him the harsher sentence because he said the evidence showed Roeder stalked Tiller. In a rambling statement read in court, Roeder blamed Tiller's death primarily on the state for not outlawing abortion. "I stopped him so he could not dismember another innocent baby," Roeder said. "Wichita is a far safer place for unborn babies without George Tiller." (More Scott Roeder stories.)

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