Jury selection tough as Kan. abortion trial begins

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The trial of the man charged with killing one of the nation’s few late-term abortion doctors begins Monday with lawyers trying to pick unbiased jurors amid the rancorous debate over abortion.

The court has called more than 300 prospective panelists for the initial jury pool in the trial of 51-year-old Scott Roeder.

Roeder, of Kansas City, Mo., faces premeditated, first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges in the May 31 shooting of Dr. George Tiller at his Wichita church.

The judge in the case has banned reporters from witnessing jury selection out of concern that a media presence could have a “chilling effect” on juror candor. News outlets, including The Associated Press, are asking the Kansas Supreme Court to overturn the ban.