Crime & Courts

Trial in death of George Tiller starts Monday with 61 jurors reporting

Scott Roeder listens as defense attorney Mark Rudy speaks during his pretrial motions Dec. 22 in Sedgwick County District Court in Wichita. Roeder, 51, is charged with first degree premeditated murder in the May 31 shooting death of Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller in the lobby of his Wichita church, where the doctor was serving as an usher.
Scott Roeder listens as defense attorney Mark Rudy speaks during his pretrial motions Dec. 22 in Sedgwick County District Court in Wichita. Roeder, 51, is charged with first degree premeditated murder in the May 31 shooting death of Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller in the lobby of his Wichita church, where the doctor was serving as an usher. The Wichita Eagle

Court officials said 140 potential jurors responded to summonses and filled out pretrial questionnaires this week for Scott Roeder's trial in the death of Wichita abortion provider George Tiller.

Sedgwick County District Judge Warren Wilbert's office said Thursday that a group of 61 potential jurors are expected to report to the courthouse Monday — when the trial begins — for further questioning by lawyers.

About 300 summonses were mailed out. It's common for not all to respond because people change addresses or move out of the county.

Roeder, 51, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tiller, who was shot in his church lobby on May 31. He also is charged with two counts of aggravated assault because authorities said he pointed a gun at two men who chased him from the church as he fled.

The case is expected to receive national news coverage and preparations have begun for a media workroom at the Sedgwick County courthouse.

A final pretrial hearing is scheduled for this afternoon.

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