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Jury to hear closings in slain abortion doc case

 Scott Roeder, accused of murdering prominent Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller,  testifies at his trial on Thursday Jan. 28, 2010 in Wichita...
 Scott Roeder, accused of murdering prominent Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, listens while the judge speaks at his trial on Thursday Jan....
 Scott Roeder swears an oath before testifying in his own defense at his first-degree murder trial on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 in Wichita, Kan. Roeder,...
 Scott Roeder confers with his attorney during this first-degree murder trial on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 in Wichita, Kan. Roeder, a man accused of mur...
 Pro-life activist Randall Terry sits in the public gallery during Scott Roeder's murder trial on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 in Wichita, Kan. Roeder, a m...
 Attorney Steve Osburn makes the defense's opening arguments to the jury before the defense portion of Scott Roeder's first-degree murder trial on Thu...

Abortion Shooting Trial

Scott Roeder, accused of murdering prominent Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, testifies at his trial on Thursday Jan. 28, 2010 in Wichita...

Abortion Shooting Trial

Scott Roeder, accused of murdering prominent Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, listens while the judge speaks at his trial on Thursday Jan....

Abortion Shooting Trial

Scott Roeder swears an oath before testifying in his own defense at his first-degree murder trial on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 in Wichita, Kan. Roeder,...

APTOPIX Abortion Shooting Trial

Scott Roeder confers with his attorney during this first-degree murder trial on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 in Wichita, Kan. Roeder, a man accused of mur...

Abortion Shooting Trial

Pro-life activist Randall Terry sits in the public gallery during Scott Roeder's murder trial on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 in Wichita, Kan. Roeder, a m...

Abortion Shooting Trial

Attorney Steve Osburn makes the defense's opening arguments to the jury before the defense portion of Scott Roeder's first-degree murder trial on Thu...

The trial of a man who confessed to killing an abortion doctor was to wrap up Friday with closing arguments, leaving jurors to decide whether to convict the man of murder after defense attorneys lost their bid for a lesser charge.
Scott Roeder's lawyers failed to show that Dr. George Tiller posed an imminent threat and therefore will not be allowed to ask jurors to consider a voluntary manslaughter charge, District Judge Warren Wilbert ruled Thursday. Wilbert also noted abortion is legal in Kansas.
Voluntary manslaughter required the defense to show Roeder had an unreasonable but honest belief that deadly force was justified. Roeder, who opposes abortion, says he acted to save the lives of unborn children.
Tiller was one of only a few late-term abortion providers in the U.S.
Wilbert also refused to allow jurors to consider a second-degree murder conviction, which does not involve premeditation, because the evidence _ and Roeder's own testimony _ clearly showed Roeder planned the shooting.
Roeder's courtroom confession capped four days of prosecution testimony that left no doubt Roeder gunned down Tiller in the foyer of his Wichita church on May 31. Roeder, 51, is charged with premeditated, first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault for threatening two ushers who tried to stop him after the shooting.
"I did what I thought was needed to be done to protect the children," Roeder said. "I shot him."
Jurors return to the courtroom Friday to hear closing arguments and jury instructions before beginning deliberations.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Roeder faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Prosecutors could later ask the judge to impose a so-called "Hard 50" sentence, which would require he serve at least 50 years before he can be considered for parole.
___
Associated Press Writer Roxana Hegeman contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-06-22 19:13 GMT+08:00