Monday, June 8, 2009
WICHITA, June 7 -- The man charged with murdering a high-profile abortion doctor claimed from his jail cell Sunday that similar violence was planned elsewhere for "as long as abortion remains legal."
Law enforcement authorities said they did not know whether the threat is credible, but a Justice Department spokesman said that it is being taken seriously and that additional protection had been ordered for abortion clinics last week. A leader of the antiabortion movement derided the accused shooter as "a lunatic."
Scott Roeder, who is held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the slaying of George Tiller, placed two calls Sunday to the Associated Press from the Sedgwick County jail to voice complaints about conditions there.
"I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal," Roeder said. When asked what he meant and if he was referring to another shooting, he refused to elaborate. It was not clear whether Roeder knew of any impending violence or whether he was simply seeking publicity for his cause.
Tiller was shot May 31 at the Lutheran church he attended. His clinic in Wichita was among only a few in the United States that perform third-trimester abortions.
Asked if he shot Tiller, Roeder replied that he could not comment about that.