Roeder found guilty of murdering abortion doctor

Scott Roeder

"We, the jury, find the defendant, Scott Roeder, guilty of the crime of first-degree murder.

It took the jury just 37 minutes to convict 51-year-old Scott Roeder. The defendant made it easy. He never disputed the state's facts of how he shot Dr. George Tiller at Tiller's church in Wichita.

"And at point blank range, with the steel pressed into his flesh, fired a shot, Prosecutor Ann Swegle said.

Roeder also acknowledged planning the crime as far back as 1999.

"Ten years worth of premeditation, Swegle said.

On the stand, Scott Roeder tried to draw the distinction between the physical act of killing someone and the legal conclusion of murder.

"And that permanent solution would be to murder Dr. Tiller, is that correct?" Swegle asked.

"To kill," Roeder responded.

"So, your thoughts included murdering him at his home. Is that right?" Swegle continued

"Killing him at his home, Roeder replied.

Roeder's attorney hoped for a manslaughter conviction and a lesser sentence.

"No defendant should ever be convicted based upon his convictions, Roeder's Attorney Mark Rudy said.

Judge Warren Wilbert denied the defense motion, saying that allowing the jury to consider a lesser sentence would be sanctioning vigilantism and anarchy.

"I did what I thought needed to be done to protect the children, Roeder said. I shot him.

After the trial, prosecutors said the verdict sends a clear message that what Roeder did is not justified under the law.

"There's no place for this, Prosecutor Kim Parker said. There are no medals to be given for those who violate the rules.

The judge scheduled a March 9 sentencing date for Roeder.

He faces a mandatory life prison term, but with the possibility of parole in 25 years.