Not Guilty Plea Entered in George Tiller Murder

Scott Roeder, accused of murdering Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller, has entered pleas of not guilty following a preliminary hearing today.

The New York Times has more details of the witness testimony at the hearing.

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    Time for dinner (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 04:55:03 PM EST
    First though I would like to express my condolences to Dr. Tiller's family again.  Thank you for supporting him in being the human being he was in life, and may a deep peacefulness abide in you whenever you should choose or are in need.

    if being self (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:16:30 PM EST
    righteously twisted is a defense he is going to be fine.  stuff from letters to his son:

     "Well, I guess you heard I was stopped for having a different kind of license plate that the government doesn't recognize," he wrote to Nicholas, who was 9 years old at the time. "It was perfectly legal, but they don't understand it. I'm in jail in Topeka right now, but that doesn't mean I've done anything wrong."

    Roeder told his son that he believed it was "in God's purpose for me to be here right now."

    "Romans 8:28 says `All things happen for the good to those that love the Lord, who are called according to His purpose,' " he wrote. "Sometimes we can't see what God's purpose is in our circumstances, or situations, but we just have to trust the Lord it is for the best."

    "I know this time has been confusing for you and you don't understand why I had explosives in my car," he said. "The one thing I want you to know is that I never meant to hurt anyone. ... I absolutely, positively want you to know I could never hurt anyone."

     "There are many things you could do on Halloween night, instead of trick or treating," he said. "Actually, one of the best things you could do to please our Savior, would be to stay home and have a Bible study with Mom and PoPo (Nicholas' grandfather)."

    "I wanted to let you know that I have the same beliefs about the observance of Christmas, that I had last year. ... The bible has no commands that tell us to observe the birth of our Savior. The Passover is for observing His death, but nothing is said about observing His birth. Dec. 25th is tied to the worship of many false elohim (gods) and we're told not to have any elohim before Him."

    He also talked about "heathen nations," which he described as "those who did not believe in YAHWEH (God the Father, this is His personal, sacred Name) and YAHSHUA (God the Son, whose Name has been erroneously translated Jesus)."

     "Slowly and surely, through lies and deception, our country has been turned from a government which upheld godly principles of truth and justice, to an ungodly system of socialism and communism, which denies the existence of Yahweh and His Son Yahshua, allows the murder of unborn babies in their mothers wombs, and is completely opposite of the type of government the Bible teaches."

    The government today, he said, "protects the evildoers (those who murder unborn babies, among other wicked acts) and punishes those who protest abortion by picketing in front of abortion clinics. The good are punished for trying to stop this murder from taking place, and the abortion doctors are protected by law to continue their evil."

    He said the government was being run according to unbiblical standards:

    At least the first wife got custody (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:41:05 PM EST
    of that son.  This being a law blog, let's talk about courts that won't believe evidence against giving custody in such cases -- medical evidence that he was schizophrenic and would not take meds, and even after he was convicted by other courts for his criminal behaviors:

    Roeder [later] fathered a child by another woman, who fought to retain sole custody of her child with her current husband.

    The woman expressed grave concern for the safety and welfare of her daughter to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, citing both Roeder's "past conduct and association with anti-government organizations [which] is ongoing" and "chronic mental disability of schizophrenia for which he takes no medication."

    The court denied her request despite the plea that her little girl was living in an intact household with the only father and mother she ever knew.

    Saw and interview with the ex-wife (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:32:12 AM EST
    She said he wrote her a letter and claimed he "did it for the children" and then she asked rehetorically if he failed to pay child support "for the children" or refused to pay for the son's dental treatment "for the children" - interesting that he worries about the unborn and unknown, but could be so irresponsible for his own kid.

    Yikes ... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:27:06 PM EST
    and his son is 9.

    yeah (none / 0) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:31:44 PM EST
    Was 9 then; 22 years old now. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:41:43 PM EST
    Jeralyn, I asked before... (4.66 / 3) (#10)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 08:48:39 PM EST
    I intend no offense, but could you please stop referring to Dr. Tiller as:
    abortion doctor George Tiller

    "Abortion Doctor", is a slangy term and it gives the impression that Dr. Tiller was not concerned with any health services other than abortion. It would be more respectful, and accurate, to refer to him as George Tiller, a doctor who performed abortion procedures.

    Or perhaps even better (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Peter G on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:29:42 PM EST
    ... an ob-gyn who specialized in reproductive health services, including late-term abortions when needed.

    PG, you are so right, thanks... (none / 0) (#16)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:23:17 PM EST
    Much more elegant, inclusive, and factual, prose.

    Well (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:00:50 PM EST
    Wonder if he claims god literally told him to do it. Would be really interesting if that is a viable insanity defense.

    I mean if some regularly talked to the spaghetti monster, who controlled his or her mind, and the spaghetti monster demanded that the person murder someone, it would be insanity, no?

    As a defense attorney (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Peter G on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:32:50 PM EST
    I'm actually kind of relieved to hear he may have an actual defense.  Cuz justification (in his own mind) ain't gonna cut it.  What test for legal insanity does Kansas use?  Does it recognize diminished capacity?  Does a sincere but unreasonable belief that one is acting in defense of others reduce murder to manslaughter in Kansas, as in some states?

    I would hope not (none / 0) (#14)
    by nyjets on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 06:32:45 PM EST
    Because using that standards, most murders would be able to avoid a murder charge if they was the case.

    Yes, Me Too (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 06:37:01 PM EST
    Not because I am a defense attorney, IANAL, but because I would rather imagine a schizophrenic nut case killing Tiller, than a political terrorist, killing Tiller because of wingnut evangelical ideology.

    There are more of those nut cases than mentally insane, that is if one has the wherewithal to distinguish between the two..


    Apparently (4.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Fabian on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 07:15:45 PM EST
    he has a past diagnosis of schizophrenia, untreated.

    Sometimes, they really are insane.


    No Doubt (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 07:21:17 PM EST
    And he only killed one person.  While the last guy in the news who god talked to on a regular basis, killed hundreds of thousands because god told him to do it.