Archive for Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Prosecutors say Roeder bought gun at Lawrence shop

January 27, 2010

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Scott Roeder enters the courtroom for his first-degree murder trial in the shooting of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. On Tuesday, prosecutors questioned witnesses who testified about how Roeder bought a .22-caliber handgun and ammunition at a Lawrence pawn shop the week before the shooting and test fired the weapon with his brother the day before Tiller was killed.

Scott Roeder enters the courtroom for his first-degree murder trial in the shooting of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. On Tuesday, prosecutors questioned witnesses who testified about how Roeder bought a .22-caliber handgun and ammunition at a Lawrence pawn shop the week before the shooting and test fired the weapon with his brother the day before Tiller was killed.

— Prosecutors have presented more than 100 pieces of evidence in the trial of the man accused of killing Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. But the weapon used to kill Tiller has not been among them because it never has been found.

On Tuesday, however, prosecutors drilled a series of law enforcement officials and gun shop and pawn shop employees who testified about how defendant Scott Roeder bought a .22-caliber handgun and ammunition at a Lawrence pawn shop the week before the shooting and test fired the weapon with his brother the day before Tiller was killed.

Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., has publicly admitted he shot and killed Tiller but pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges.

Prosecutors may wrap up their case as soon as today, with the defense set to begin Thursday. Defense attorneys have been expected to try for a voluntary manslaughter conviction, which carries considerably less jail time, by arguing Roeder believed Tiller’s killing would save unborn children.

The defense team has so far cross-examined several witnesses, though only briefly on Tuesday’s testimony about Roeder’s purchase of a weapon.

Prosecutors showed videos of Roeder buying the handgun and ammunition and picking up the weapon at the shop after his background check cleared.

A pawn shop employee testified that when Roeder’s background check was submitted, he initially received a “delayed” status, which meant Roeder couldn’t take the gun with him. Roeder was approved a day later.

A Kansas highway patrol trooper also testified that Roeder’s brother, David Roeder, had contacted the patrol to say Scott Roeder had been to his brother’s property outside Topeka the Saturday before the shooting because he wanted to test fire a gun he had recently bought.

FBI special agent Michael Miller said David Roeder “feared his fingerprints were on the weapon.”

Arrest video

Also Tuesday, prosecutors showed a video of Roeder’s arrest as he fled on Interstate 35, about an hour and a half north of Wichita. The video from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department showed a cooperative Roeder ordered by deputies out of his car with his hands up. Three officers approached Roeder with their guns drawn as he backed toward them and was ordered to lie on the ground.

Roeder’s arrest photos and photos of apparent blood stains on his black athletic shoes and pants leg also were shown.

In other testimony Tuesday, Lt. Ken Landwehr, a homicide detective for the Wichita police department, testified that Tiller sustained a contact wound, meaning the gun used to kill him was put up against his head.

Prosecutors again showed jurors graphic crime scene photos, including of Tiller laying on the floor of the church after he had been shot, his face largely obscured by blood. A crime scene investigator detailed finding ammunition and a 7-inch dagger in Roeder’s car hours after the shooting.

A Wichita motel clerk testified that Roeder checked in the evening before the shooting and checked out uneventfully about 9:30 the next morning.

Anti-abortion schism

Outside the courtroom, a war of words appeared to begin brewing between anti-abortion activists when Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry announced in an e-mail he was coming to the trial “as a voice for babies who perished at George Tiller’s hand.”

But Operation Rescue, which is based in Wichita and has condemned Tiller’s slaying, said Terry hasn’t been affiliated with the group for more than 17 years.

Operation Rescue says Terry has isolated himself from the pro-life community because of his “extremism, fringe actions and bizarre media stunts.”

Terry’s statement said he was traveling with members of Insurrecta Nex, which has called for Roman Catholic bishops to deny Holy Communion to lawmakers who support publicly financed abortion in the national health care bill.

Comments

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 3 months ago

What a total nutcase. Society has sunk to a new low when we call good, bad and bad, good.

grammaddy 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes I am still very much FOR gun-control ! Using a framing hammer would have been an easier conviction.Why does everyone who thinks differently from you have to be a zealot, Nancy-Tom?

Amy Heeter 5 years, 3 months ago

" I don't need no stinking weapons" Oh my, who said that?

Christine Anderson 5 years, 3 months ago

What a mess. I really don't think the "fault" is that Roeder could buy a firearm. The problem came in the way he chose to use it.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 3 months ago

No it isn't about Roeder being able to buy a gun. Alot of people can buy guns who are not responsible. Even if he couldn't buy one himself a gun is easy enough to get because peple who can get guns will buy them for other people who can't.

think_about_it 5 years, 3 months ago

You're right arti. We should make it illegal for anyone to buy a gun and then tranfer it to someone who is not able to purchase one.

tolawdjk 5 years, 3 months ago

He legally obtained a firearm. Big flippin Whoop.

Guess what, if they made 50 more hoops to jump through to obtain a pistol, this guy would have jumped through 50 more hoops.

Why?

He wanted a gun.

What he did after the purchase is not connected to the purchase, nor to the establishment where he purchased it. They did the check. It told them to wait. They waited. It cleared and he got his gun. Wow, the plan was followed and the proceedures worked.

Kirk Larson 5 years, 3 months ago

Guns don't kill people. Religious zealots who want to impose their views on others by terrorizing people through murder do...with a gun.

headdoctor 5 years, 3 months ago

tolawdjk (Anonymous) says… He legally obtained a firearm. Big flippin Whoop. Guess what, if they made 50 more hoops to jump through to obtain a pistol, this guy would have jumped through 50 more hoops. Why? He wanted a gun.


Yup. It isn't rocket science. If he wanted something resembling a firearm bad enough he could have put together a small caliber firearm setting at his kitchen table that would have accomplished what he wanted. So what are the anti-gunners going to do now? Get bent out of shape at every hardware store and plumbing supply shop around the country?

50YearResident 5 years, 3 months ago

Posted above, couldn't tell if it was sarcasm or not but this is already illegal. "You're right arti. We should make it illegal for anyone to buy a gun and then tranfer it to someone who is not able to purchase one."

ferrislives 5 years, 3 months ago

I wonder why he received a "delayed" status? That would be interesting to know.

jaywalker 5 years, 3 months ago

"The only difference between the Roeder followers and the Taliban is the headgear"

Early candidate for dumbest post of the day. People like Roeder make me sick to my stomach with their extremism, but fairly certain they don't subjugate women, limit dress and social interaction, take villages hostage, murder teachers and students for non-compliance of dress codes or for teaching girls, nor murder innocents by the dozens to get to one opponent. While I'm pro-choice and am whole-heartedly against Roeder's type of retaliation, the cause that moves these people is noble on its face. The same can't be said for the Taliban, they ain't lookin' to save unborn children. Also, we get one of these nutcases lashing out every few years. The Taliban murders daily.

Exceptionally weak post, intellectually void.

ivalueamerica 5 years, 3 months ago

Let´s see, durring the summer of mercy a man beat his children with a 2x4 for refusing to handcuff themselves to a van that entered a clinic.

Another man beat his wife and broke her jaw because he thought she was flirting with someone at their fundamentalist Christian church.

A simple google search of fundemental Christians and Domestic Violence will turn up hundreds of pages of documents of the role of women in the fundemental christian movement and the amount of violence that they recieve is dispraportionatly high within the community.

They have bombed abortion clinics.

Yes, there is a Christian Taliban and they have shown themselves to be as diverse and at times as extreme as the Muslim Taliban and like the Muslim Taliban, they give their faith a bad name as most people are more reasonable of either faith.

LadyJ 5 years, 3 months ago

Thing __grammaddy could buy a gun with a mental condition (not say she does) as long as she checks the box saying she doesn't have one and has never been committed. Because mental records are sealed in Kansas, government agencies cannot prove otherwise. This has been a serious loophole in Kansas for many, many years.

Kirk Larson 5 years, 3 months ago

At first I thought that these details were superfluous to the case, but since he bought the gun just one week before the shooting and test fired it, I suppose a case might be made that this shows premeditation. That would take some of the wind out of the "I was so upset about the babies I couldn't help myself" argument.

brujablanco 5 years, 3 months ago

  21-3412a.   Domestic battery. (a) Domestic battery is:

  (1)   Intentionally or recklessly causing bodily harm by a family or household member against a family or household member; or

  (2)   intentionally causing physical contact with a family or household member by a family or household member when done in a rude, insulting or angry manner.

  (c)   As used in this section:

  (1)   Family or household member means persons 18 years of age or older who are spouses, former spouses, parents or stepparents and children or stepchildren, and persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or who have lived together at any time. Family or household member also includes a man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; and .....................................

        History:   L. 2001, ch. 177, § 5; L. 2006, ch. 212, § 24; L. 2008, ch. 175, § 1; July 1.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 3 months ago

throw the guy in a slightly padded yet very well locked room and throw away the key.

K_Verses_The_World 5 years, 3 months ago

Been shooting craps and gambling, momma, and I done got broke, I done pawned my pistol, baby, my best clothes been sold.

Bob Dylan - Broke Down Engine

Sylvie Rueff 5 years, 3 months ago

Two weeks before the murder, Scott Roeder vandalized an abortion clinic in Kansas CIty where his license tag was recorded and it was reported to the police. In the week before the murder, he was able to buy a gun - even though he had been hospitalized for mental illness and had a history of restraining orders. He, also, had outspokenly endorsed violence within the anti-choice community. How many ways could this murder have been prevented?

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