Kopp Convicted on Federal Charges for Murdering Abortion Doctor
Anti-abortion extremist James Kopp was convicted yesterday on federal charges for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act when he shot and murdered an abortion doctor in 1998. Kopp is currently serving a 25-year-to-life sentence on New York state charges for murdering Dr. Barnett Slepian. During his closing statements, Kopp, who is known as "Atomic Dog" in extremist anti-abortion circles, tried to convince the jury that his intention was to only hurt Dr. Slepian, not kill him. The prosecutor countered, saying, "If you want to injure a person, you don't shoot them with a high-powered rifle," the Associated Press reports.
After murdering Dr. Slepian, Kopp fled to Mexico, Ireland, and France, where he was finally captured in 2001. He is suspected in four separate shootings of abortion providers.
According to the AP, prosecutors will ask for a prison term of life without parole. Sentencing is scheduled for July 19, 2007.