Decision in Phelps-Roper Case Not Likely til 2008

PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) _ A Nebraska judge says it will be at least 90 days before he rules on a motion by a member of Topeka’s Westboro church.

Shirley Phelps-Roper faces criminal charges resulting from a protest at a Nebraska soldier’s funeral. She’s charged with flag mutilation, negligent child abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and disturbing the peace.

She wants the judge to order prosecutors to spell out in writing why she is charged. She says the details of the charges will be important to her defense.

Westboro Baptist Church
The Westboro Baptist Church is a hate group masquerading as a Christian church. Led by Fred Phelps, members of this church target homosexuals with messages of hate.

The group’s extremist views and despicable behavior mark it as a cult of Christianity

At a hearing in Nebraska Monday, Phelps-Roper said prosecutors are persecuting the church.


Prosecutors say her decision to allow her 10-year-old son to stand on an American flag during the protest justified the charges because it could have led to violence.

The June 5 funeral in Bellevue was for Nebraska Army National Guard Specialist William Bailey, who was killed when an explosive device struck his vehicle in Iraq.

The Topeka church believes that U.S. deaths in Iraq are punishment for the nation’s tolerance on homosexuality.

Last week, the church was thrust into the national spotlight after losing an $11 million lawsuit for picketing a military funeral in Maryland.



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AP, via wibw.com, USA
Nov. 4, 2007
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This post was last updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at 5:12 PM, Central European Time (CET)