DENVER – A Boulder District Court judge on Tuesday ordered a mental competency evaluation be done for the Boulder King Soopers shooting suspect at the county jail to see if he is fit to move forward in the court process.
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa was ordered to be evaluated at the Boulder County jail rather than the state hospital in Pueblo in order to keep the case on track. Chief Judge Ingrid Bakke said the state hospital was facing staffing and COVID-19 issues and that doing it at the county jail would expedite the process.
Alissa had originally been scheduled to undergo a preliminary hearing Tuesday. He faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and dozens of other charges in connection with the March 22 shooting.
But last week, his defense attorneys filed a motion raising concerns about his mental competency. The preliminary hearing, which will determine whether there is enough evidence presented to move the case forward, was vacated and turned into an advisement hearing.
District Attorney Michael Dougherty said the victims in the case were frustrated at the delay in the preliminary hearing and asked Judge Bakke to order the evaluation be done at the jail so the hearing is not delayed longer due to the backlog at the state hospital.
Alissa’s defense attorney, public defender Daniel King, said he does not believe Alissa will be found competent and said he would object if the evaluation finds Alissa is competent. In court, Alissa told Bakke that he had talked with his attorneys about the competency evaluation and said he understood how the process worked.
Alissa will next be back in court on Sept. 30 for a status conference for competency review, according to Shannon Carbone, a spokesperson for the district attorney's office.
Alissa's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 19. Carbone said the September date "will give us an opportunity to review and discuss the results of the competency evaluation."