Monday, March 16, 2009
Wichita doctor George Tiller's trial began today on charges that he repeatedly violated Kansas' abortion law in a criminal case that could threaten his medical license.
Tiller is charged with 19 misdemeanors alleging he failed to obtain a second, independent opinion for late-term abortions from an independent physician, as required by Kansas law.
If convicted, he could face a year in the county jail or a fine of $2,500 for each misdemeanor charge.
Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens has set aside three days for jury selection. Opening arguments and trial testimony are set to begin March 23.
Defense attorney Dan Monnat says he could not comment on specific trial evidence.
In an interview with KAKE News he said he was ready to begin the trial and continued to defend his client's innocence.
"We expect that the prosecution's evidence and any evidence presented by the defense will make that very, very clear," said Dan Monnat, Tiller's attorney.
Kansans For Life representative David Gittrich said he is also anxious for the trial to get underway. He said he has been disappointed with how Tiller's case has been handled.
"Why does it take an attorney general to look into this instead of a district attorney. I thought district attorney's were supposed to be investigating alleged violations of the law," said David Gittrich, who works for Kansans for Life.