The jury deliberated for only 37 minutes before delivering their verdict: Scott Roeder is guilty of first degree murder for the slaying of former health care-provider Dr. George Tiller.
"The verdict came on the sixth day of Roeder's trial in a high-profile case that brought both national abortion-rights leaders and anti-abortion militants to Wichita to watch it unfold," according to the Kansas City Star. Trial-watchers were taken on a twisting road as a county judge initially determined that Roeder could present the defense that he was saving fetuses. This defense would have permitted the jury to assess a lesser, voluntary manslaughter charge. Yesterday, however, the judge reversed position, refusing to instruct the jury to consider manslaughter, leaving in tact the charge of first degree murder for slaying Tiller while he was serving as an usher at his church. The judge also permitted the jury to consider charges of aggravated assault for pointing the murder weapon at other church ushers.
After minimal consideration, the jury announced that they found Roeder guilty on all counts. Roeder's sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 9, 2010. The prosecutions is seeking a sentence of 50 years without parole.