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Kopp Apologizes to Widow of Dr. Slepian

By Eilen Buckley

Buffalo – Anti-abortion extremist James Kopp apologized to the widow of Dr. Barnett Slepian. Kopp is on trial for the shooting of Slepian at his Amherst home in 1998. His federal case began Tuesday. Slepian's wife was first to testify.

The government called Lynne Slepian to testify about the night of the fatal shooting of her husband in the kitchen of their East Amherst home with her four children nearby. Kopp, serving as his own attorney, said he had no questions on cross examine of Mrs. Slepian. But Kopp told her that he just wanted to say he was sorry and that he respects Lynne Slepian and her family.

During his opening statement, Kopp told jurors the shooting of Slepian was a tragedy, but described it as an accident.

Under the federal charges, the government must prove that Kopp prevented Slepian from performing reproductive health services, and used an assault rifle to shoot the doctor.

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