DENVER — As the 2-year-mark approaches and with a remembrance ceremony planned, the man charged with killing 10 people at Boulder’s King Soopers supermarket still remains mentally incompetent to stand trial.
A new order from the judge regarding the defendant's competency could serve as a temporary roadblock for prosecutors.
Suspect Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 23, has been deemed mentally incompetentseveral times and in December 2021he was sent to the state mental hospital for treatment.
Denver7 reporter and attorney Jessica Crawford explains in the latest clash between prosecutors and the defense, the state has asked to bring in their own expert to do a psychological evaluation on the suspect.
Crawford explains, competency involves being able to understand the proceeding and play a role in one's own defense. Prosecutors suspect he may be purposely delaying trial but the court ruled that only the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo can evaluate and treat the suspect.
A court filing revealed lawyers for the suspect found he was "approaching catatonia" before being moved to the state hospital and suffered from schizophrenia. Lawyers said he suffers symptoms resistant to medication.
Prosecutors can’t speed up the process by hiring their own expert.
Being incompetent to stand trial is not a defense to the alleged crime and if competency is restored, the defendant can proceed to trial, explains Crawford.
In the latest back and forth, the judge told prosecutors they can ask for a restoration hearing and in that hearing the court will decide whether or not competency has been restored and if the defendant can proceed to trial.
In order for this to happen soon, the court has asked prosecutors to turn in a brief requesting the reasons asking for competency restoration hearing by Monday, March 20.
Boulder King Soopers Shooting
The Table Mesa King Soopersreopened in February of 2022 nearly 11 months after the shooting. The 2 year remembrance ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at eTown Hall on 1535 Spruce Street in Boulder. Doors open at 5 and the event is free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required.The event will also be streamed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.