Tiller Slaying Suspect Charged with Murder

By: 13 News
By: 13 News

Wichita (WIBW) - The suspect in the shooting death of abortion provider George Tiller made his first appearance in Sedgwick County court Tuesday afternoon.

In the brief appearance, Scott Roeder heard the official charges against him. They are one count of first degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault. The assault charges stem from allegations he threatened two people who tried to intervene during Sunday's incident, when Tiller was shot and killed inside his Wichita church.

The judge also ordered Roeder held without bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 16.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston was asked why she opted for the first degree murder charge and not capital murder, which could carry a death sentence. Foulston replied the crime does not meet the circumstances set out in Kansas statute that would qualify it for a capital crime.

Foulston acknowledged that Tiller's work as an abortion provider impacted the case, but said her office was confining its focus to bringing justice for the crime. She said it was important the case be tried in the courts, not the court of public opinion.

Funeral services for Tiller are set for 10 am Saturday at Wichita's College Hill United Methodist Church.

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