WICHITA, Kan. - Seemingly contradicting his previous public statements, an attorney for the man accused of gunning down a Kansas abortion provider has argued in court documents that his client has an “absolute right’’ to present a defense that argues the killing was justified to stop abortion.
A defense motion made public yesterday seeks to thwart prosecutors’ efforts to ban the so-called necessity defense from Scott Roeder’s trial on charges of murder and aggravated assault. A hearing on the issue is set for Dec. 22. “For the Court to grant the State’s motion to prohibit ‘any evidence’ in support of the necessity defense would be premature, and contrary to Kansas law,’’ the defense wrote.
Roeder, 51, is charged with first-degree murder in Dr. George Tiller’s death and two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly threatening two ushers who tried to stop him during the May 31 melee in the foyer of the doctor’s Wichita church. Roeder has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial Jan 11.