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Expert: PP shooter not competent to stand trial

Posted: 8:50 AM, Apr 28, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-29 02:16:43-04
Competency hearing today for shooting suspect
Competency hearing today for shooting suspect
Competency hearing today for shooting suspect

An expert forensic evaluator said the man who admits to killing three people and injuring nine others in a shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs is not competent to stand trial.

The judge has not issued his ruling yet.

Robert Dear interrupted court several times during the hearing and again told the court that he prefers to represent himself. 

"I'm going to represent myself, it's my constitutional right," said Dear during one of his outbursts. "It's my life on the line."

Chief District Judge Gilbert Martinez ordered a mental exam for Dear after the suspect announced at a previous hearing that he wanted to fire his public defenders and represent himself.

The exam was conducted at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo. The results of the mental examination were released in court Thursday.

Forensic evaluator Jackie Grimmett, Psy.D, met with Dear twice, for a total of two-and-a-half hours along with Dr. B. Thomas Gray.  

Grimmett and Gray both determined that Dear has delusional disorder and conclude his mental illness is impacting his ability to stand trial.

Dear is accused of killing University of Colorado-Colorado Springs officer Garrett Swasey and two other people at the clinic during a shooting spree on November 27, 2015. All 15 clinic employees survived.

In court Thursday, lead detective Jerry Schiffelbein with the Colorado Springs Police Department, took the stand.

Schiffelbein was one of the first people to come into contact with Dear after the shootings.

Dear waived his rights and agreed to the interrogation, Schiffelbein said.

Schiffelbein stated that Dear made comments about "saving the babies" and "no more baby parts" while in a crowd of law enforcement agents and in earshot of the media staging area.

According to Schiffelbein, Dear also said he believed "the Feds were after him" ever since he made a phone call to a radio station calling the FBI the Federal Bureau of Incineration after federal agents raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas on Feb. 28, 1993.

Dear told Schiffelbein he believes the FBI has been following him around for 22 years and felt they were going to kill him that day. Dear told Schiffelbein he decided to "make his last stand" so he went to "the most Satanic place" he could think of, Schiffelbein told the court.

However, after several attempts to find the clinic and unable to find the right address, he decided to shoot at the sheriff's office instead. Dear said he changed his mind because he thought that wasn't "innocent-enough blood" and tried again to find the Planned Parenthood building, asking a postal employee outside of a nearby women's clinic for directions, Schiffelbein said.

During the ride to jail, Schiffelbein said Dear waived his Miranda rights several times before, during and after they were read to him.  Schiffelbein said Dear continued talking to him about what had happened in the patrol car on the way to the jail and through the seven-hour interrogation that followed.  

Schiffelbein also told the court that Dear brought up Luke 10:18 from the bible. It's a passage that Dear has said leads him to believe that President Barack Obama is the "Antichrist."

In court Thursday, lawyers also discussed phone calls he made from jail to family and members of the media.

Prosecutors used Dear's outbursts in court to make their point that he is in fact aware of what is going on in court, can follow the proceedings and is on topic with those unsolicited comments.

Dear is charged with 179 counts including murder, attempted murder and assault.

The hearing in El Paso County will continue with Dr. Gray on the stand on May 10 at 1 p.m.

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