Kan. court skeptical of defense in Tiller shooting

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Supreme Court justices expressed skepticism that a man convicted of shooting a Wichita abortion provider should get a new trial because he believes he was saving unborn children’s lives.

The court Wednesday heard the appeal of Scott Roeder, who is serving at least 50 years in prison for the death of Dr. George Tiller in May 2009.

Appellate defender Rachel Pickering argued that Roeder should get a new trial because jurors weren’t allowed to consider whether they could convict him of voluntary manslaughter, rather than first-degree murder. She argued that Roeder had a sincere but unreasonable belief that he was preventing the deaths of others.

Roeder was convicted of shooting Tiller at the doctor’s church. Tiller was among a handful of U.S. physicians known to do late-term abortions.

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