Special Reports

Nola Foulston: Case against George Tiller suspect will be state, not federal

District Attorney Nola Foulston said today that the case against the man in custody for the fatal shooting of abortion doctor George Tiller will be a state case, not a federal case.

"We have taken that jurisdiction, and this case will be a state case," Foulston said during a morning briefing outside the Sedgwick County Courthouse. "We may be getting assistance from outside federal individuals who may have been involved, however, the case is in this jurisdiction."

Foulston also said that there will be no court hearing today for the suspect, identified by law enforcement authorities as Scott P. Roeder, 51, of Merriam.

Jail records indicate Roeder is being held in the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of murder and aggravated assault in the Sunday shooting death of Tiller.

Roeder was arrested near the Gardner exit on I-35 south of Kansas City about four hours after Tiller was shot to death in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday. Tiller was serving as an usher at the time of the shooting.

Foulston said that the case remains under investigation by the Wichita Police Department. She said that authorities have two days to make a determination whether to charge a person in custody before requesting an extension from the court.

"We will not be rushed," she said. "There's no need to rush."

In responding to a question about the possibility of a capital murder charge in the case, Foulston said:

"Everything will be reviewed and determined whether or not, and what statutes might be applicable in making a final decision on this case before it's brought to the court."