|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of Scott Roeder, who is accused of killing a Kansas doctor known for performing late-term abortions.
Police and prosecutors say Mr. Roeder walked into the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita last May 31 and shot Dr. George Tiller once in the head.
Mr. Roeder has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. But in phone calls from jail, he has told news organizations that he killed Dr. Tiller -- an act he said was justified to protect unborn children.
In a pretrial hearing Friday, Kansas Judge Warren Wilbert said he might allow the defense to present evidence that Mr. Roeder acted in defense of others -- in this case, fetuses -- whom he believed to be under imminent threat. The judge said he would make that call as the trial proceeded, on a witness-by-witness basis.
"He said it's probably a very tough burden for us to meet, but he didn't rule it out," said defense lawyer Mark Rudy, adding that he was satisfied with the ruling.
Judge Wilbert also said he was open to the defense presenting evidence that Mr. Roeder might be guilty not of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison, but of the far lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, which carries a sentence of about five years.