WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Scott Roeder’s family life began unraveling more than a decade ago when he got involved with anti-government groups, and then became “very religious in an Old Testament, eye-for-an-eye way,” his former wife said.

“The anti-tax stuff came first, and then it grew and grew. He became very anti-abortion,” said Lindsey Roeder, who was married to Scott Roeder for 10 years but “strongly disagrees with his beliefs.” He moved out in 1994, and the couple divorced in 1996. They have one son, now 22.

“He started falling apart,” Lindsey Roeder told The Associated Press on Monday. “I had to protect myself and my son.”

Scott Roeder, 51, remained jailed Tuesday on suspicion of murder, accused of shooting abortion provider George Tiller to death on Sunday as the doctor served as an usher at his Lutheran church in Wichita. It was not clear Monday if Roeder had a lawyer.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston was reviewing evidence in expectation of filing charges Tuesday.

Roeder’s brother also said he suffered from mental illness at various times in his life.

“However, none of us ever saw Scott as a person capable of or willing to take another person’s life. Our deepest regrets, prayers and sympathy go out to the Tiller family during this terrible time,” his brother, David, said in a statement.

Lindsey Roeder said from her suburban Kansas City home that the early years of the marriage were good and that Scott Roeder worked in an envelope factory. But she said he moved out of their home after he became involved with the Freemen movement, an anti-government group that discouraged the paying of taxes.

In 1996, Roeder was arrested in Topeka after being stopped by sheriff’s deputies because his car lacked a valid license plate. Instead, it bore a tag declaring him a “sovereign” and immune from state law. In the trunk, deputies found materials that could be assembled into a bomb.

He was convicted and sentenced to two years on probation and ordered to stop associating with violent anti-government groups. But the Kansas Court of Appeals overturned his conviction in 1997, ruling that authorities seized evidence against Roeder during an illegal search of his car.

The appeals court ruling appeared to energize him, Lindsey Roeder said.

“When they let him out because of the illegal search that made him even more self-righteous. He would say, ’See, I’m right, and you’re wrong,”’ she said.

He was known by sight and license plate number to workers a clinic in Kansas City, Kan., where he had put glue in backdoor locks, most recently on Saturday, the day before Tiller’s death, a clinic worker said Monday night.

The worker, who spoke on condition that his name not be used because of fears for his safety, said another employee was in the kitchen at Central Family Medicine early Saturday morning and spotted Roeder approaching the back door.

“She saw his shadow and knew who it was,” the worker said. “She chased him away and caught up with him and had a conversation with him. He just kept repeating, ’Baby killer.”’

The worker said the man’s license plate was captured on surveillance video. The worker said the video was turned over to the FBI Sunday after they realized the plate was the same reported by witnesses to Tiller’s shooting.

Some anti-abortion activists said they were familiar with Roeder. Regina Dinwiddie, a protester in the Kansas City area, said she had picketed a Planned Parenthood clinic with Roeder. She said she was “glad” about Tiller’s death.

“I wouldn’t cry for him no more than I would if somebody dropped a rat and killed it,” she said.

Police said it appears the gunman acted alone, and some anti-abortion groups quickly distanced themselves from the killing. Outside Tiller’s clinic, the Kansas Coalition for Life placed signs saying members had prayed for Tiller’s change of heart, “not his murder.”

Dave Leach, publisher of the magazine Prayer and Action News, said he met Roeder about 15 years ago. A decade ago, Roeder subscribed to the quarterly magazine, which is published in Iowa and has said “justifiable homicide” against abortion providers can be supported, Leach said.

“Scott is not my hero in that sense; he has not inspired me to shoot an abortionist,” Leach said in an e-mail. “But definitely, he will be the hero to thousands of babies who will not be slain because Scott sacrificed everything for them.”

Some abortion clinics across the country responded to Tiller’s death with increased security, while others said they would not discuss their security procedures.

In West Palm Beach, Fla., Monica Reis, founder of the Presidential Women’s Center, said clinic staff “will continue to do what we always do, which is to be vigilant, to be aware, to be conscious.”

Susan Hill, president of the National Women’s Health Organization, which runs the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, said additional security measures have been taken at the Jackson clinic and officials have been in contact with the Justice Department.

“We will have even more security tomorrow,” she said.



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