Competency hearing in Planned Parenthood case

Posted at 6:31 AM, May 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 14:07:05-04

A man who admitted killing three people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic is returning to court for the continuation of a hearing on whether he's mentally competent to stand trial.

Robert Dear is charged with 179 counts including murder, attempted murder and assault in the Nov. 27 shootings at the Colorado Springs clinic. Three people died, nine people were injured in the attack.

In court, he has declared himself a "warrior for the babies" and said he was guilty.

The hearing started last month, when two psychologists testified that Dear isn't competent to stand trial.

During that hearing, Dear interrupted court several times and told the court that he prefers to represent himself. 

"I'm going to represent myself, it's my constitutional right," said Dear during one of his outbursts. "It's my life on the line."

Chief District Judge Gilbert Martinez ordered a mental exam for Dear after the suspect announced at a previous hearing that he wanted to fire his public defenders and represent himself.

The exam was conducted at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.

Forensic evaluator Jackie Grimmett, Psy.D, met with Dear twice, for a total of two-and-a-half hours along with Dr. B. Thomas Gray.  

Grimmett and Gray both determined that Dear has delusional disorder and concluded his mental illness is impacting his ability to stand trial.

If the judge agrees, Dear's case would be put on hold while he undergoes treatment at a state psychiatric hospital intended to restore him to competency.


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