WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Court of Appeals says Lansing Correctional Facility officials acted properly when they punished Scott Roeder for making a threat against a woman who reopened a Wichita abortion clinic.
Roeder is serving a life sentence for killing abortion provider George Tiller on May 31, 2009, while Tiller was serving as an usher at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita.
Roeder suggested during an interview in April 2013 with David Leach, a music store owner and anti-abortion activist from Des Moines, Iowa, that Julie Burkhart had a target on her back for reopening Tiller’s former clinic, four years after the doctor’s death.
“You know, I think that woman’s name is Julie Burkhart, but I call her Julie Darkheart, and to walk back in there and reopen a clinic, a murder mill where a man was stopped, you know it’s almost like putting a target on your back saying ‘Well, let’s see if you can shoot me,’” Roeder said during the interview.
At the time of the interview, Burkhart was close to reopening the clinic, now called the South Wind Women’s Center. Leach published a newsletter and website called “Prayer & Action News” and hosted a public-access TV show called “The Uncle Ed Show.”
Burkhart couldn’t be reached by The Wichita Eagle (bit.ly/1PANrVb ) for comment.
The appeals panel rejected Roeder’s contention that his words were protected speech.
Roeder was given 45 days in solitary confinement, 60 days of restricted privileges and a $20 fine after the interview was aired on YouTube.
Prison records show Roeder has been disciplined 22 times by prison officials since 2011 for a variety of offenses.
Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com
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