Man accused of killing three at Planned Parenthood clinic could be coerced on drugs to qualify him to face trial, judge says


A mentally ill man accused of kill three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015, because it provided abortion services, drugs could be forcibly administered to try to qualify him to stand trial, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The persecution of Robert Dear64, has been stalled because he has been repeatedly found mentally incompetent since his arrest and has refused to take antipsychotic medication for a delusional disorder.

At a three-day hearing this summer, prosecutors argued that, based on research and the experience of government experts, medication had a significant chance of making Dear good enough to meet the legal standard for mental competence — being able to perform procedures. understand and assist in his defence.

However, Dear’s lawyers and experts said the government’s plan did not take into account Dear’s age and his health problems, including untreated high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which could be exacerbated by the side effects of the medication.

U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ruled that involuntary medication was the only realistic approach with a substantial chance of making Dear eligible to stand trial and was also in the best interest of his overall health, both mental and physical.

“Under the proposed treatment plan, and again based on clear and compelling evidence, Mr Dear’s involuntary medication is unlikely to cause dangerous and intractable side effects,” he said.

Dear is represented by federal defenders who do not comment on cases.

Planned Parental Admissions
Robert Lewis Dear watches his attorney Daniel King during a courtroom outburst on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Andy Cross/The Denver Post via AP, Pool

Dear, who has called himself a “warrior for the babies” intended to wage “war” on the clinic because it offered abortion services, armed himself with four semi-automatic rifles, five pistols, two other rifles, a shotgun, propane tanks and 500 rounds of ammunition, prosecutors claimed. He started shooting outside the clinic before going inside by shooting his way through a door, according to his federal indictment.

According to experts who testified and Dear’s attorneys, Dear has delusions that lead him to believe that the FBI is following him because he called up a radio show in 1993 to criticize the agency over the police siege against the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. . He also believes that his lawyers work for the FBI and the judge is also involved in the settlement.

Dear mentioned the radio call in one of several outbursts at the recent hearing, where he also claimed the shooting was a “success” and ordered the judge to go to hell for not being able to testify. He remained largely silent after Blackburn warned him that he would tolerate no more disturbances. The judge said he concluded that the outbursts were not the result of Dear’s mental illness, but of “selfish, childish and disgruntled arrogance.”

After Dear’s prosecution stalled in state court over the competency issue, Dear was charged in federal court in 2019 under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994. Federal prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty against him if he is sentenced, but instead life imprisonment.

Two of the people killed in the attack accompanied friends to the clinic: Ke’Arre Stewart, 29, an army veteran who served in Iraq and was a father of two, and Jennifer Markovsky, 36, a mother of two who grew up in Oahu, Hawaii. The third person killed was a campus police officer at a nearby university, Garrett Swasey, who responded to the clinic after learning there was an active gunman.

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