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Jan 11, 2010 11:01 AM by Associated Press

Accused abortion doctor killer to begin trial

A man goes on trial in Kansas today, accused of killing abortion doctor George Tiller.

Scott Roeder  is charged with one count of first-degree murder but a judge has ruled that Roeder's lawyers can argue voluntary manslaughter.

The judge warned the defense that claiming a sincere belief that it was necessary to kill Tiller is an uphill battle.

But the judge ruled Friday that Roeder's lawyers can argue voluntary manslaughter because they say their client sincerely believed it was necessary to kill Tiller to save unborn babies.

Roeder could get life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder. Voluntary manslaughter could mean a term closer to five years, depending on prior criminal record.

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