Breaking: The New York Times reported that a Kansas jury found Scott Roeder, who admitted to planning, stalking and murdering Dr. George Tiller during a church service, guilty of first degree murder. The jury took 37 minutes to convict.
It took jurors 37 minutes on Friday to convict Scott Roeder, an abortion opponent, of first-degree murder in the death of George R. Tiller, one of the few doctors in the country to perform late-term abortions.
When the verdict was read inside the Sedgwick County Courthouse here, Mr. Roeder, 51, had no visible reaction. He stared straight ahead, blinking his eyes. He faces a life sentence in prison.
Abortion rights supporters lauded the ruling, saying it sends a strong, unambiguous message to others who believe that violence against abortion doctors is justified that such acts will be punished. Some abortion opponents, meanwhile, said that Mr. Roeder — who admitted to the killing in open court but said that was the only way he could stop the deaths of babies — had not received a fair trial, and that the outcome might only encourage more violence.
After the verdict, Dr. Tiller’s lawyers issued a statement at the request of his widow, Jeanne, and their family. In the statement, they thanked the jury and the prosecutors and called the verdict “just.”