Cheers from the court gallery erupted when a Supreme Court jury in Melbourne, Australia convicted anti-abortion extremist Peter Knight of murder on Tuesday. Knight entered Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne on July 16, 2001 and killed the clinic security guard Steven Rogers by shooting him in the chest at close range. After the verdict, Knight threatened the court, “You will be made to pay the penalty.” Knight’s sentence, expected this week, may be life imprisonment.
Forty-one people were inside Fertility Control Clinic when Knight murdered Rogers. Three men who were waiting in the reception area were able to restrain Knight before he was taken into custody. Prosecutors believe that Knight may have intended to use more deadly force that day. When arrested by law enforcement, Knight was found to have 16 liters of kerosene, 3 lighters, torches, 30 gags, metal tubes which could have been used to nail the doors of the reproductive health clinic closed, and a handwritten note that read, “We regret to advise that as a result of a fatal accident involving some members of staff, we have been forced to cancel all appointments today.” After his arrest, Knight wrote, “There will not be an abortionist in Melbourne left deathless.”