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Federal prosecutors want new competency evaluation for admitted Planned Parenthood shooter

 Picture: Colorado Springs Police Department
Picture: Colorado Springs Police Department (KKTV)
Published: Jan. 19, 2020 at 9:14 PM MST
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UPDATE

Robert Dear still remains in Federal custody. We are told the state hospital has not sent his competency report because they cannot preform the examination when they do not have custody of him.

When he returns to the state hospital they can do the examination.

The judge tells us the incompetency report will continue until the judge formally changes it to competent.

The next court date is set for May 18 at 8:30 a.m.

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New documents filed by federal prosecutors spell out why they believe the admitted Planned Parenthood shooter needs a new mental evaluation. A motion filed in U.S. District Court in Denver suggests Robert Dear's previous competency evaluations are outdated. Prosecutors have said before they believe the state's findings are flawed, but now they are explaining why.

Dear is facing 68 federal charges related to the November 2015 deadly attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Three people were killed including a police officer.

The federal case is separate from the ongoing state one, which has failed to advance for years due to competency issues. Court records show Dear was found incompetent in May of 2016 and has stayed at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo until December 2019, when he was taken into federal custody.

At the state hospital, evaluations are attempted every 90 days. Each time, Dear has been declared incompetent to stand trial.

Court records show the government filed a motion on January 10th, stating the evaluations done at the state level are outdated because Dear has refused to participate. Prosecutors argue there is an ongoing presumption of incompetence because examiners have relied heavily on Dear's initial evaluation.

"Although the defendant was re-evaluated every 90 days while he was at CMHIP, he largely refused to participate in those re-evaluations," prosecutors wrote. "During those re-evaluations, in the absence of evidence to suggest that the defendant's 'clinical presentation has improved or that his delusional belief system has abated or softened to any degree,' the evaluators found it 'more likely than not' that he continued to be incompetent."

Hundreds of pages of documents have been filed in Dear's federal case since his indictment in December 2019.

While the government has made it clear they want a new competency evaluation without delay, Dear's defense team disagrees.

In less than 2 weeks, the government indicted Dear on charges that carry the death penalty, took him into federal custody, demanded an immediate competency evaluation, and produced nearly 10,000 pages of state competency records. Dear's lawyers argue they simply need more time. A capital defense team had not even been assembled yet when the first request for a competency hearing was filed.

Dear's attorneys filed their own motion stating their team has not had enough time with Dear, and that they need sufficient time to develop a rapport with him and spend time with him at every stage of the case. They also argue that Dear's competency diagnosis has stayed the same after a total of 15 evaluations conducted by 5 different examiners.

Robert Dear claims he is competent to stand trial. He has also expressed interest in representing himself.

A magistrate granted an extension for Dear's defense to submit more written arguments responding to the prosecution's request for a competency evaluation.

Robert Dear is now being charged with federal crimes, four years after the deadly attack at a Colorado Springs clinic. The case is separate from his ongoing state case that has failed to advance for years due to competency issues.