Accused Planned Parenthood shooter found incompetent to stand trial
Despite his insistence that he wanted to take the stand, accused Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Dear will not return to a courtroom anytime soon.
Judge Gilbert Martinez ruled Wednesday that Dear was incompetent to stand trial. For the time being, further court proceedings will be put on hold while Dear gets treatment at the state mental hospital.
The goal is to restore Dear's competency, so that he can stand trial at a later date.
Dear faces 179 counts for the Nov. 27 shooting, which left three dead and nine injured. Among the deceased: a mother of young children, an Iraq veteran and a police officer.
As he was escorted out, Dear yelled that the judge was a "filthy animal."
Is accused Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Dear mentally fit to stand trial?
Nearly six months after the violent rampage that left three dead and nine injured, the only suspect in the shootings will learn whether his case is moving forward--or whether it will be temporarily stalled while he receives treatment.
Dear's competency hearing wrapped up Tuesday, but Judge Gilbert Martinez said he needed one more day to think it over. Martinez is expected to hand down his ruling Wednesday afternoon.
A doctor testified Tuesday that Dear suffers from delusions, namely his conviction that the FBI is after him. Dr. Gray argued that Dear can't assist his defense when he believes his defense team is in cahoots with federal law enforcement.
Surveillance video of Dear drinking out of his toilet was shown in court,. Gray says that could be linked to his suspicion that he is being poisoned, which Dear loudly concurred with during the testimony. The doctor concluded that Dear's rational understanding of the case is interwoven with his delusion that the FBI is after him.
Dear made several outbursts in court, including a rant about the bad things that happened to people who "made fun of Obama." He shouted during Gray's testimony that he wanted to be on stand and that he had a constitutional right to represent himself.
The prosecution asked Martinez to let Dear testify at the hearing, which Martinez shot down.
The prosecution argued Tuesday that Dear may have a conflict with his lawyer, who he has loudly expressed his displeasure towards in past hearings. The prosecution said Dear may be able to work with other attorneys.
In closing arguments, the defense said Dear lacks rational understanding of court proceedings, isn't in touch with reality, and lacks rational ability to work with attorneys. The prosecution said the doctors who examined Dear lacked neutrality, and failed to follow up on issues of personal conflict between Dear and his lawyer. They concluded that the doctors relied too much on assumption.
Martinez will issue an opinion at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. If Dear is found mentally incompetent, it doesn't mean he will never stand trial, only that the case would be put on hold while he undergoes treatment at a psychiatric hospital to restore his competency.