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Anti-abortion extremist convicted of violating federal law

Anti-abortion extremist convicted of violating federal law

An anti-abortion extremist was convicted Thursday of violating the U.S. Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act by shooting and killing an abortion provider.
James Kopp, who is already serving a 25-year-to-life sentence on a state murder conviction in Dr. Barnett Slepian's death, was found guilty of targeting and killing Slepian because he provided reproductive health services.
U.S. law bars people from blocking access to reproductive health services by force or threat of force.
After the 1998 shooting, Kopp fled to Mexico, Ireland and finally France, where he was captured in March 2001 as one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted fugitives.
A federal jury deliberated about four hours over two days before returning the verdict Thursday.
The jury also convicted him on a weapons count.
Kopp could face life in prison without parole when he is sentenced.
Kopp, who represented himself in the trial, stood with a half-smile as the verdict was read.
Kopp had tried to convince jurors he did not mean to kill Slepian when he fired from woods into the doctor's home. Kopp said he intended only to wound Slepian to prevent him from performing abortions the next day.
"If it happened the way I wanted it to, he would have his arm in a sling," said Kopp, 52, who also is suspected in the non-fatal shootings of three Canadian doctors and one in Rochester.
A federal prosecutor said Kopp's long and careful planning of the shooting and his choice of weapon _ a Russian military assault rifle _ proved his deadly intent.


Updated : 2021-01-18 07:06 GMT+08:00