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Kopp Confesses

James Kopp

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – James Kopp has admitted to the shooting of a Buffalo-area doctor who performs abortions.

He made the jail house confession during an interview to the Buffalo News.

Dr. Barnett Slepian was gunned down in his Amherst home in October of 1998.

The 47-year old anti-abortion activist confessed to the sniper shooting during an interview last week with News reporters Dan Herbeck and Lou Michel.

Kopp told the reporters he planned the shooting for one-year, but only intended to wound Slepian as part of the anti-abortion battle.

He told the News he checked out homes of other Buffalo area doctors who perform abortions before selecting Slepian as his target.

Kopp maintains he never meant to kill the doctor.

Erie County District attorney Frank Clark said Wednesday that not much will change from this confession in the prosecutions case.

"Nothing that I've heard, neither in what I've read or statements based on the evidence, would constitute a legal defense to what he did," said Clark. "His motives for doing it, as far as I'm concerned are irrelevant."

Kopp's attorney, Bruce Barket, said the confession won't change his plans to defend his client.

Barket has made it clear the case will be about abortion.

Kopp said he doesn't regret committing the shooting, but regrets that Slepian died.

Kopp's trial is scheduled to begin the first week of February.