The Scott Roeder trial: Murder on the inside; abortion on the outside

The trial of Scott Roeder, the anti-abortion activist who murdered Dr. George Tiller is underway this week at the the Sedgwick County Courthouse in Wichita, Kansas. Reporters are sending out real time dispatches on Twitter. At blogsite RH Reality Check, contributor Carolyn Marie Fugit is writing eyewitness dispatches for publication the next day. Weave back and forth between Fugit’s blog and Wichita Eagle reporter Ron Sylvester’s tweets to get a digital word-picture of the action. Excerpts after the jump.

Fugit’s opening yesterday:

Walking into Monday morning, I saw a van covered in anti-abortion messages. Missionaries to the Pre-Born Iowa, formed by Army of God member Dan Holman, was parked in front, displaying grotesque images, pretty images, and messages saying abortion causes breast cancer and against vaccination. Inside, David Leach waited for day two of the trial to start. He and two companions talked to some members of the media. I chatted with representatives from the Feminist Majority Foundation and the National Abortion Federation. Outside the courtroom, the conversation was all about abortion. Inside, it was suppose to be about a murder.

First in the morning are two ushers Scott Roeder threatened after he shot Dr. George Tiller. Gary Hoepner stood at the refreshments table with Dr. Tiller, chatting about donuts. He saw Roeder come out of the sanctuary but thought nothing of it as he had seen Roeder the week before. He looked down then saw someone else out of the corner of his eye and looked up to see Roeder shoot. Hoepner followed, trying to keep him from escaping. As they ran across some grass, Roeder told Hoepner to stop following him, that he had a gun.

And Sylvester tweets this morning:

sylvester tweets

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