Courts & Crime

Roeder admits to killing abortion doctor Tiller

Scott Roeder confessed Monday to killing Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller, saying he had no regrets because "preborn children were in imminent danger."

In a 20-minute phone call from the Sedgwick County Jail, Roeder told The Kansas City Star that he believed shooting Tiller saved lives.

"I've already been told that there's at least four women that have changed their minds and are going to have their babies," Roeder said. "Even if it was one woman, then who would have a regret for a motive of protecting preborn children? That was the motive."

Roeder, of Kansas City, is charged with first-degree murder in the May 31 shooting death of Tiller. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 11.

Tiller, one of a handful of doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions, was shot to death while serving as an usher in his Wichita church.

When asked specifically whether he killed Tiller, Roeder replied: "That is correct."

But Roeder, 51, said that he didn't consider what he did to be murder and that he had no intention of changing his plea to guilty.

"There is a distinction between killing and murdering," he said. "I don't like the accusation of murder whatsoever, because when you protect innocent life, that's not murder."

Lee Thompson, an attorney for the Tiller family, said Roeder's assertion that killing Tiller was justifiable was ludicrous.

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