The state mental health hospital treating the suspect in the Boulder King Soopers mass shooting has failed to report to the court about the man’s condition, 20th Judicial District Chief Judge Ingrid Bakke wrote in an order Wednesday.
She ordered representatives from Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo to explain their failures, saying the hospital has not filed required reports about the likelihood that treatment could improve suspect Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa’s mental competency to the point that the criminal case against him could proceed.
Alissa, 22, faces more than 100 charges, including 10 counts of first-degree murder, in connection with the March 22 mass shooting at the Boulder grocery store. The criminal case against him stalled last fall when psychologists found he was not competent to stand trial.
A competency evaluation considers whether a criminal defendant is mentally ill or developmentally disabled, and whether that mental illness impedes the defendant’s ability to understand the court process. It centers on two prongs — whether defendants have a factual and rational understanding of the proceedings, and whether defendants are able to consult with their attorneys and assist in their own defenses.
Competency refers only to a defendant’s current mental capacity and is distinct from an insanity defense, which focuses on the defendant’s mental state at the time of the alleged crime.