Man who murdered abortion doctor resentenced

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Scott Roeder, the man convicted of killing abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, appeared in Sedgwick County Court Wednesday morning for an unscheduled hearing and was resentenced to life in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 25 years. A jury trial had been scheduled to begin next week.

Back in January 2010, Roeder was convicted of one count of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault of Dr. Tiller. Tiller was killed in May of 2009.

Dr. George Tiller (KSN File Photo)
Dr. George Tiller (KSN File Photo)

Roeder received a life sentence with no chance of parole for 50 years. However, it was one of many vacated after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that juries, not judges, must decide whether to increase punishment.

During the hearing, the state withdrew its request for the “Hard 50” conviction and asked the court for life with parole after 25 years.

The judge resentenced Roeder to life in prison for first-degree murder plus 12 months each on the other two charges of aggravated assault.  He will be eligible for parole in 25 years.

District Attorney Marc Bennett said if Roeder should be granted parole, he would be 76 years old, and he would still need to serve 24 months for other two charges of aggravated assault. A statement from the Tiller family was read. It stated that they support the current sentence that was handed down. Bennett said the resentencing was a good thing for the community.  He said the family will be able to forward.

Defense attorney Mark Rudy says they are glad to put this to rest and don’t plan to appeal.

Dr. George Tiller Family Statement – through the District Attorney’s Office, Marc Bennett

Seven and a half years ago, on Sunday, May 31st, 2009, Dr. George Tiller was assassinated while attending Church in the presence of his family, friends, and fellow parishioners. Nothing will change that fact. We continue to grieve the loss of a dear husband, father, grandfather, physician, and friend.

After a very difficult and emotionally draining trial, the defendant was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder and received the appropriate “Hard 50” sentence for the egregious nature of his crime. Our family will be forever grateful to the District Attorney’s Office, the jury, the presiding judge, and all the law enforcement officers and personnel who ensured that a fair trial and verdict were delivered to the defendant.

Since that time, we have sought to heal as a family and cherish our collective memories together. We have tried to embody the principles of kindness, courtesy, justice, love, and respect that Dr. Tiller lived throughout his life.

Despite the unwanted overturn of the original “Hard 50″ sentences nationwide by the United States Supreme Court, our family has decided to abstain from further legal proceedings and will not participate in another sentencing trial of the convicted murderer. Instead, we have decided to support the current sentence of a minimum 25 years in prison without parole.

There will be no further legal hearing or recourse afforded him. With this legal closure, the Dr. George Tiller family will continue to heal and thrive and live fully in our communities. We wish to convey our gratitude to all our friends and allies that have stood by Dr. Tiller and our family for many, many years.

We thank Marc Bennett and the District Attorney’s Office for their legal expertise and guidance. We believe in the rule of law and respect the prudence of the Court. Thank you.”

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