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Accused UCCS shooter's new assault charges could impact ongoing competency evaluation

Posted at 10:04 AM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 12:04:30-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The suspect accused of killing two people inside a UCCS dorm room was back in court Wednesday afternoon to face new charges after he allegedly punched a deputy while in jail.

Arrest papers said surveillance video captured the moment Nicholas Jordan assaulted an El Paso County Sheriff's deputy as he was opening his jail cell last week. According to the document, Deputy Dustin Bentley eventually pushed Jordan back inside his El Paso County jail cell where Deputy Bentley was struck in the face by Jordan several more times.

Documents said Jordan was restrained by several other deputies who came to assist. The arrest affidavit states Deputy Bentley received several injuries from the altercation, including bruises on his face, arm and elbow.

Jordan appeared in court for his first appearance on the assault charges Wednesday afternoon. The suspect's public defender asked the judge to postpone the hearing until April 12 at 11 a.m. to align with the suspect's hearing on his mental competency evaluation. Last week Jordan's defense requested the mental competency evaluation in relation to the first degree murder charges he's facing. On Wednesday, the defense said they wanted to wait to discuss the new assault charges until after the evaluation is completed.

Jordan is accused of killing his roommate Samuel Knopp and Celie Montgomery, who was not a student, inside a UCCS dorm room on Feb. 16.

Dan May, former Fourth Judicial District Attorney, said the suspect's most recent assault charges could impact the results of his mental competency evaluation. May said the new case is something a psychologist can consider when determining the results of the evaluation.

The Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health, which oversees Colorado's two mental health hospitals, said psychologists consider multiple components when conducting a mental competency evaluation. Along with interviewing the suspect, the office said evaluators will typically review evidence in the case, contact with treating staff, records of treatment and may perform psychological tests if they believe the client will not be competent to proceed. The office said evaluators may also interview family members, guardians, attorneys or others who may have relevant insight. 

Jordan Saenz, a spokesperson for the Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health, said Colorado law requires competency evaluations to be completed and submitted to the court within 21 days after it's ordered. Saenz said there are currently three people in jail waiting for an evaluation.

Jordan will be back in court on April 12 at 11 a.m. for a review hearing related to the assault charges and a hearing to go over the mental competency evaluation.

Accused UCCS shooter's new assault charges could impact ongoing competency evaluation