Thursday, April 1, 2010

Scott Roeder, convicted of killing George Tiller, sentenced to 'Hard 50'

Posted By on Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 5:44 PM

click to enlarge It'll be long time, if ever, before Scott Roeder sees daylight.
  • It'll be long time, if ever, before Scott Roeder sees daylight.

Scott Roeder, the man convicted of murdering Wichita abortion provider George Tiller, was sentenced Thursday to the "Hard 50," meaning Roeder will serve 50 years before being eligible for parole.

Roeder was also sentenced to a year for each of the two counts of aggravated assault. It all totals to life in prison without a chance of parole for 52 years.

As Roeder was leaving the courtroom, he yelled at prosecutors that the blood of the unborn is on their hands. Security quickly escorted him out of the courtroom.

In January, a Wichita jury convicted Roeder of first-degree murder for killing Tiller as well as two counts of aggravated assault against two witnesses. Jurors deliberated for less than an hour.

In

his statement before the court Thursday, Roeder said he didn't think he

deserved the Hard 50. He claimed his views had been

silenced by the court. He described late-term abortion procedures. He

claimed he killed Tiller "so he couldn't kill again."  The decision was

to do so was most agonizing. He called Tiller a "hit man" for

the state of Kansas and spoke of judgment day coming and God

avenging the deaths of aborted babies. Then he started reading from Why shoot an abortionist? by Paul Hill, who was executed for murdering an abortion provider.

And it went on and on and on. It was as if Roeder were trying to filibuster his way out.

Judge Warren Wilbert grew tired of it all.

Wilbert told Roeder that his sentencing

hearing was his chance to convince him that he should get a lesser

sentence, "not a soapbox for your political views."

Other notable moments from today's sentencing:

  • Roeder had several outbursts about "unborn babies" and dying babies. Early on Wilbert threatened to remove him from the court. But later, the judge just ignored him and several officers surrounded him.

  • Roeder told Wilbert that if he followed a higher power, he'd acquit him

  • David Leach of the Army of God, an anti-abortion group that

    celebrated Tiller's killing and called it justifiable, told the court that Roeder yearns to be a

    "law abiding citizen." Leach said Roeder killed Tiller out of love. He remembered

    Roeder sharing a story of being cold in his jail cell and no one would

    give him anything for warmth. Except the lord, who provided toilet

    paper. Roeder wrapped himself in toilet paper to keep warm.


  • Tiller's attorney and friend Lee Thompson spoke,

    noting Roeder's "lack of remorse" and calling the killing an "act of

    domestic terrorism" and a "gutless act of terror in a house of

    worship." He spoke of Tiller's love and devotion for his family. He

    also talked about Tiller's patients, and their appreciation for him.


Tiller was serving as an usher at a church service when Roeder shot and killed him last May.

Roeder

claimed his only option for stopping Tiller from aborting unborn babies

was to shoot and kill the doctor at a church service.

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