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Jury Deliberations in Kopp Trial

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Jury deliberations continue in the federal trial of anti-abortion extremist James Kopp.

Kopp is accused of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and fire arm charges for the 1998 shooting death of Dr. Barnett Slepian of Amherst.

Jurors heard about two hours of closing arguments Wednesday.

Jurors will decided whether or not Kopp interfered with the delivery of reproductive services the night Dr. Slepian was shot. In order to convict Kopp on the first count, they must determine if he intended to injure Dr. Slepian and that the injury resulted in his death.

But Kopp, who is acting as his own attorney, tried once last time to convince the jury that he only intended to wound Slepian to prevent abortions. Kopp says he believes abortion is murder and wanted to save children.

Assistant U-S Attorney Kathleen Mehltretter reminded jurors that Kopp admitted to buying and practicing with a Russian style assault rifle, scouted out Slepian's neighborhood, hid in the back yard and fired the shot.

Jurors only deliberated for about an hour Wednesday. Then asked the judge for answers to four questions. Testimony will be re-read Thursday on what time the Slepian's arrive home the night of the shooting, what time the shooting occurred, what time did Slepian arrive at the hospital, and what time was he pronounced dead?

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