The man charged with killing a doctor and his escort outside an abortion clinic cannot use a justifiable homicide defense, a judge ruled.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said Wednesday that he granted the prosecution's motion to bar the defense because Hill, who is representing himself, did not file any papers to fight the request.But Vinson said he was open to reconsideration and offered Hill suggestions on how to argue that he committed the crime to prevent a greater harm.
Vinson said Hill would have to show that he exhausted all available legal alternatives, was choosing the lesser of two evils, was acting to prevent imminent harm, and was anticipating a causal relation between his action and the harm to be avoided.
Hill, a former Pentecostal minister who has no legal training, is charged with violating federal clinic protection and firearms laws in the July 29 shootings of Dr. John B. Britton and James H. Barrett outside a Pensacola clinic.
Hill's trial is to begin Monday. He faces a state trial Jan. 30 and could get the death penalty if convicted.