WICHITA, Kan. - The convicted killer of a Kansas abortion provider has little sympathy for the family of his victim, comparing them in a recording posted online with the relatives of a hit man.
In his first public comments since his trial for the murder of Dr. George Tiller, Scott Roeder also criticized those who sought to keep the issue of abortion out of the proceedings altogether, saying it was like asserting that the trial for abolitionist John Brown was not about slavery.
"My beliefs were that the lives of unborn children were being taken by abortion," Roeder said in the video posted Monday on YouTube. "How you can keep that out of the trial is beyond me, because that was the one entire motive for the action that was taken."
His 10-minute conversation with abortion opponent Dave Leach is the first in a series recorded last week that will be posted online with Roeder's blessing, Leach told The Associated Press yesterday.
Roeder, 51, was convicted Jan. 29 of first-degree murder for shooting Tiller May as the doctor served as an usher at his Wichita church. He also was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault for threatening two ushers. He will be sentenced March 9.
Roeder told Leach in the phone conversation that he would struggle to summon any sympathy for Tiller's widow and four adult children.
"The fact that George Tiller was involved in the practice that he was, similar to that of a hit man, if you could have sympathy for a hit man's family that is the sympathy I would have," Roeder said. "But every day, George Tiller did not have any sympathy for his victims."
The recording illustrates an undercurrent of anger among fringe anti-abortion activists against the doctor's family, with some saying Jeanne Tiller is as culpable as her husband for the abortions at his Wichita clinic.