by Cliff Judy (WICHITA, Kan.)
Jurors saw both video of Scott Roeder buying a gun and video of him being arrested after prosecutors say he used it to kill a Wichita abortion provider. Roeder's murder trial continued Tuesday as prosecutors switched focus to the investigation following Dr. George Tiller's death.
Roeder has admitted to killing Tiller while Tiller served as an usher at his east Wichita church. Roeder's charged with first degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault.
On Tuesday, prosecutors switched gears from eyewitness testimony from church members who heard or saw the shot that killed Tiller to law enforcement and forensics investigators.
After Tiller's murder, church members managed to get a good vehicle description and license plate number for Roeder's car as he drove away from the building.
Johnson County Deputy Andrew Lento spotted Roeder's light blue Ford Taurus on I-35 outside Kansas City. Lento followed Roeder's car for several miles until he could get closer to other law enforcement officers for a high-risk traffic stop.
"We use that when there's a better chance or more likely that the suspect is armed or he may resist," said Deputy Lento.
Roeder was arrested without incident on the side of the highway. He didn't have a gun on him when he was arrested.
Prosecutors also spent Tuesday trying to show jurors Roeder had planned to attack Tiller.
Law enforcement found a Taurus gun box in Roeder's bedroom, along with a brochure from Tiller's church. Investigators later learned Roeder had bought a .22 Taurus handgun from a Lawrence pawn shop only a week before Tiller's shooting. Prosecutors also showed surveillance video from the pawn shop as Roeder purchased the gun and then returned five days later to pick it up.
Prosecutors aren't indicating their daily schedule during trial, but it's possible they plan to rest their case and hand the trial over to defense attorneys as early as Wednesday.
If convicted of first degree murder, Roeder faces life in prison with the possibility of parole in 25 years.
Defense attorneys are likely to attempt a defense of others trial strategy. It's the idea Roeder had an honest, but unreasonable, belief that he needed to kill Dr. Tiller to shut down Tiller's clinic. If Judge Warren Wilbert allows jurors to consider the strategy, it's possible jurors could consider the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
For a detailed account of Tuesday's testimony as it happened and pictures from inside the courtroom, you can click on Eyewitness News Reporter Cliff Judy's interactive blog listed on this page. Cliff will provide a new blog every day of the trial, and Eyewitness News will provide coverage of the Roeder murder trial gavel-to-gavel.