Scott Roeder, the man accused of shooting abortion provider George Tiller, confessed to the killing today and said that he plans to argue at his trial that his actions were justified.
Roeder, 51, talked to an AP reporter for more than 30 minutes by telephone. He has been charged with one count of first-degree murder in Tiller’s death and two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly threatening two church ushers who tried to stop him when he shot Tiller in a church foyer in May, just before the start of a Sunday mass.
The confession has no bearing on Roeder’s “not guilty” plea. His trial is scheduled to begin in January.
“Because of the fact preborn children’s lives were in imminent danger this was the action I chose. … I want to make sure that the focus is, of course, obviously on the preborn children and the necessity to defend them,” Roeder told the AP.
“Defending innocent life — that is what prompted me. It is pretty simple,” he said.
Roeder also said he has no regrets about killing Tiller.
“No, I don’t have any regrets because I have been told so far at least four women have changed their minds, that I know of, and have chosen to have the baby,” Roeder said. “So even if one changed her mind it would be worth it. No, I don’t have any regrets.”
A small group of abortion opponents today released a document — “Defensive Action Statement 3rd Edition” — that proclaims “whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of a born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child.” The 21 signers state that “if Scott Roeder did in fact kill George Tiller, his use of lethal force was justifiable,” and he should therefore be acquitted.
According to this document (and bear in mind, it is difficult to read), this statement was originally written by Paul Hill in 1993 and signed by 29 people who supported Michael Griffin’s shooting of Florida abortion provider David Gunn. One year later, Hill shot abortion Florida provider John Britton. Hill was executed in 2003.