Death penalty ruled out for Robert Dear, man accused of killing 3 at Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic

Posted at 11:59 AM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 14:04:59-05

The man accused of shooting and killing three people in 2015 at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs will not face the death penalty, the U.S. Department of Justice ruled Wednesday.

According to Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the United States Attorney’s Office, the United States Department of Justice ruled out the death penalty for Robert Lewis Dear, 62, on Wednesday.

Dear hasn't been found competent to stand trial as of Wednesday.

He is accused of fatally shooting University of Colorado in Colorado Springs Police Officer Garrett Swasey, 44, Jennifer Markovsky, 36, and Ke'Arre Stewart, a 29-year-old Army veteran on Nov. 27, 2015. Nine others were injured.

READ MORE: Planned Parenthood Shooting: Remembering the lives lost in Colorado Springs

That day, he allegedly shot several people in the parking lot, forced his way inside the clinic, and attacked more people inside before barricading himself. After a five-hour standoff in which he allegedly fired nearly 200 rounds, including at the propane tanks, Dear was taken into custody.

He was charged with 179 counts, including murder and attempted murder, following the shooting.

During a December 2015 hearing, he claimed, in an outburst, to be "a warrior for the babies" and admitted guilt, saying there was no need for a trial.

On Dec. 9, 2019, he was indicted by a federal grand jury on 68 counts: 65 counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) and three counts of use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death where the killing is a murder, according to the indictment.

He faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life behind bars.