Witness describes Tiller killing as judge orders suspect to trial

WICHITA, Kan. — Gary Hoepner paused to choke back tears Tuesday as he told a judge of George Tiller's last moments of life. Hoepner was grabbing a doughnut at the snack table in the lobby of Reformation Lutheran Church on the last Sunday in May.

Standing on the other side, close enough to touch, stood Tiller — the doctor whose abortion procedures had led to years of protests and disruptions outside the church. Like Hoepner, Tiller was serving as an usher that Sunday.

"He said he liked baguettes," Hoepner said.

A man then walked up, put a gun to Tiller's forehead and pulled the trigger, Hoepner said.

During a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Hoepner pointed to Scott Roeder as the man with the gun.

Roeder, 51, pleaded not guilty through his public defenders. Sedgwick County District Judge Warren Wilbert ordered him to stand trial on charges of first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Read the full story at

Related stories from McClatchy DC