In an impassioned plea before a US court, a born-again Christian argued on Thursday that he had killed a prominent abortion doctor because he wanted to save the lives of unborn babies.
Scott Roeder, 51, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder in the May 2009 slaying of Dr George Tiller in the foyer of a Kansas church.
Instead in an unorthodox move he is seeking to convince jurors that he is guilty of the lesser offence of voluntary manslaughter, because he honestly believed he was saving people from greater harm.
George Tiller performed late-term abortions: he aborted babies after the 21st week of pregnancy, babies that have the potential for surviving outside the womb.
Now, if Roeder had killed a madman with a gun threatening babies in a nursery, he would be a hero; is his murder of Tiller substantially different?