Special Reports

Reader questions and answers about Tiller case

As The Eagle continues to report on George Tiller's death, we've asked our readers at Kansas.com to share their questions about the case.

Here are the answers to some of them. Add your own questions to the discussion at http://bit.ly/tillerQA.

When and where will the funeral be held?

Services are set for 10 a.m. Saturday at College Hill United Methodist Church, on the corner of First Street and Erie in Wichita.

A spokesman for the Tiller family said services are being held at the church at the family's request.

Wasn't Tiller just on trial? What happened in that case?

A jury this spring found Tiller not guilty of 19 misdemeanors stemming from his practice of getting a second medical opinion on late-term abortions. Jurors reached their verdict after 20 minutes of deliberations.

Is Scott Roeder affiliated with a church group?

While all of his affiliations aren't known, Roeder was involved in the "Freemen" movement.

"Freemen" was a term adopted by those who claimed sovereignty from government jurisdiction and operated under their own legal system.

Roeder also was a subscriber to Prayer and Action News, a magazine that supported the idea that killing abortion doctors is an act of justifiable homicide, the magazine's publisher said.

Tiller is often mentioned as performing "controversial" late-term abortions, with the term controversial used with no explanation. Can you explain it?

The Eagle has not used that term in our reporting. Late-term abortions themselves are controversial because of strong opposition by abortion opponents.

Kansas law allows abortions after the fetus might be able to live outside the womb when two medical professionals determine that carrying the pregnancy to term would result in irreversible harm to the physical or mental health of the mother.

Is the DA going to seek the death penalty in this case?

District Attorney Nola Foulston said she will not. Kansas law allows for seven circumstances in which prosecutors may seek the death penalty. Foulston said none apply in this case.

Each requires that the killing be carried out intentionally and with premeditation.

The seven circumstances are:

 Killing in the commission of a kidnapping

 Killing as part of a contract or an agreement

 Killing by a prison inmate

 Killing a victim of rape or sodomy

 Killing a law enforcement officer

 Killing more than one person

 Killing a child younger than age 14 as part of a kidnapping during the commission of a sexual offense

Scott Roeder has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault in connection with the shooting death of George Tiller. A preliminary hearing is tentatively set for June 16.

Why was Tiller not taken to a hospital after he was shot?

Tiller was pronounced dead at the scene by medical responders. No further medical intervention was necessary, authorities said.

How did Roeder buy a gun? From whom?

A Wichita Police Department spokesman declined to answer this question, saying that information "is part of the investigation and can't be released."

Why didn't The Eagle allow comments on the Tiller articles on Sunday?

Kansas.com editors routinely disable the commenting feature on stories about crimes because we do not want to create a forum for vilifying the suspect (who is considered innocent until proven guilty) or making comments about the victim. This was why, at first, no reader comments were allowed Sunday on the online news stories about George Tiller's death.

After further discussion and consideration, editors enabled the commenting feature to provide a venue for community reaction and discussion.

As with all comments at Kansas.com, the comments were -- and continue to be -- subject to usage terms and potential removal based on content. For example, comments deemed abusive are removed.