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Boulder King Soopers shooting suspect found incompetent to stand trial

Judge orders suspect be sent to state hospital in Pueblo for treatment
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Posted at 2:15 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-04 00:38:07-05

DENVER – The Boulder King Soopers shooting suspect was found incompetent to proceed in his murder case Friday and was ordered to the state hospital in Pueblo for further treatment.

It was the second time Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 22, was found incompetent to proceed and stand trial in the case, in which he is accused of murdering 10 people at the grocery store in March.

In his first competency evaluation earlier this fall, doctors found that his mental health “limits his ability to meaningfully converse with others” and a second evaluation was ordered.

In a hearing Friday, the judge in the case was told four different doctors had deemed Alissa incompetent. Both prosecutors and his defense attorneys asked that he be transferred to the state mental hospital in Pueblo so doctors can try to restore his competency.

The judge ordered he be transferred there within the next seven days. Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty said he was confident Alissa would be able to face criminal charges once he receives medication and treatment.

Judge Ingrid Bakke set a March 15 hearing for a review of the competency restoration to see how Alissa has progressed. Neither prosecutors nor Alissa’s defense have said what his mental illness was found to be.

During a news conference Friday afternoon, Dougherty said he was confident that with medication and treatment, Alissa would be deemed competent to stand trial and returned to Boulder to face charges.

DA speaks after Boulder King Soopers shooting suspect found incompetent to stand trial

He said the most recent evaluation was done by a doctor brought in by prosecutors and that it was “incredibly thorough.” All four doctors who have assessed Alissa have come to the same conclusion.

Prosecutors, the defense and the court will get updates from the state hospital every 30 days ahead of the March hearing.

Dougherty said he spoke with the families of the shooting victims Thursday ahead of Friday’s hearing in what he said was a “long discussion.”

He said they remain frustrated and upset by any delay in the case.

“They want me to be standing in front of a jury delivering closing arguments,” Dougherty said. “…That day will come.”

Dougherty said if Alissa’s competency is restored earlier than the March hearing, the court could move that date up.

Despite the findings that Alissa’s competency had deteriorated while he has been in jail, Dougherty said he believes Alissa’s competency will be restored.

“I’m 100% confident the day will come when he’s held fully responsible,” Dougherty.

Alissa faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and dozens of other charges in connection with the March 22 shooting.