Federal Prosecutors Won’t Seek Death Penalty In Trial Of Alleged Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Shooter

December 2, 2020
An El Paso County Sheriff's deputy talks to Robert Lewis Dear during a court appearance on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, in Colorado Springs.An El Paso County Sheriff's deputy talks to Robert Lewis Dear during a court appearance on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, in Colorado Springs.Andy Cross/The Denver Post via AP pool
An El Paso County Sheriff's deputy talks to Robert Lewis Dear during a court appearance on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, in Colorado Springs.

Federal prosecutors filed paperwork in federal court Wednesday that revealed they will not seek the death penalty against Robert Lewis Dear Jr., the man charged with killing three people and wounding others at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015.

The one-sentence court document submitted Wednesday by Colorado U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn, does not elaborate further on the decision.

Dear has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial several times since his arrest at the clinic following an hours-long standoff with police. He was housed at the state mental hospital in Pueblo before being taken into federal custody a year ago after a federal grand jury indicted him on 68 charges.

State psychologists have said Dear suffers delusions that the FBI has been tracking him following remarks he made on a radio call-in show concerning the 1993 federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Regarding the Planned Parenthood attack itself, Dear has declared himself guilty and has called  himself a “warrior for the babies.” The Planned Parenthood branch performs abortions at the clinic.

A federal judge has ordered Dear undergo a new mental competency evaluation. A spokesperson for Dunn’s office said that has not yet been scheduled due to ongoing litigation. 

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