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Admitted Planned Parenthood Shooter Still Won’t Stand Trial

Jessica Mason Pieklo

A ruling Monday that Robert Lewis Dear Jr. remains not competent to stand trial means there are still few answers around the 2015 siege at a Colorado Planned Parenthood that left three dead.

Robert Lewis Dear Jr., the man who admits to taking siege of a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood in a shooting spree that killed three people, has for the fourth time been found not legally competent to stand trial.

The ruling came following a hearing Monday in which Dear appeared before Colorado District Chief Judge Gilbert Martinez, who has in each instance ruled Dear incompetent. Monday’s appearance will be the last before Martinez, who is scheduled to retire in June. Dear’s case will then be reassigned to a new judge.

Martinez has made several other rulings related to the case, including keeping much of the information related to the investigation and Dear’s statements sealed from the press and the public.

During Monday’s hearing, Dear announced to the court he that was “for women’s rights—unborn women’s rights.” He later wished a “happy late Mother’s Day” to women who hadn’t had abortions. Martinez repeatedly instructed Dear to be quiet during the proceedings.

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Under Colorado law, Dear will be re-assessed for his competency to stand trial within 90 days. The criminal case against Dear can’t proceed against him until he is declared competent. Colorado law permits the state to hold Dear until such a determination is made, but no longer than the total sentence he faces. Dear faces 179 criminal counts, including multiple first-degree murder charges. That means the state of Colorado can hold him without trial for life.

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