The man who acknowledged attacking a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado last year is not competent to have his criminal case go forward, a judge ruled on Wednesday. Robert Lewis Dear Jr. is accused of killing three people and wounding nine others in Colorado Springs in November.
Dear was charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in December, as The Two-Way reported. At the hearing, he admitted to the shooting and called himself “a warrior for the babies.”
The Denver Post reported Wednesday that district Judge Gilbert Martinez ruled Dear was “not mentally capable of participating in and understanding the case against him.” The newspaper adds:
“Two state psychologists had testified they do not think Robert Lewis Dear Jr. is competent. The two diagnosed Dear with a delusional disorder they say is centered on a 22-year-old belief that federal agents are out to kill him.
“That delusion is preventing Dear from working with his public defenders and having a rational understanding of the case. Dear told state psychologist B. Thomas Gray that his attorneys are working for the federal government and are only handling the case for publicity.”
The Associated Press says Dear is headed for the state psychiatric hospital.
“Prosecutors argued that Dear’s courtroom disruptions showed he understood the case against him,” the AP reports. “They have not decided whether to seek the death penalty against the man described by family and acquaintances as a man with a violent temper, anti-government sentiments and longstanding disdain for abortion providers.”
In the days after the Colorado Springs shooting, abortion rights groups called on the Justice Department to “treat attacks on abortion clinics as domestic terrorism,” Colorado Public Radio has reported.
Dear’s trial will not resume until the judge finds him “restored to competency,” the Colorado Springs Gazette says, adding that the “process that could take weeks, months or even years. Martinez said he plans to issue a written review of Dear’s case on Aug. 11, updating the case.”
The Gazette also notes the clinic fully reopened earlier this month for the first time since the shooting.