DENVER — A mentally ill man accused of killing three people at a Colorado family planning clinic in 2015 because it offered abortion services may be forcibly medicated to try to make him fit to undergo his trial, a federal judge ruled Monday.
The prosecution of Robert Dear, 64, has stalled because he has been repeatedly found incompetent since his arrest and refused to take antipsychotic medication for a delusional disorder.
During a three-day hearing this summer, prosecutors argued that the drugs had a substantial likelihood, based on research and the experience of government experts, of making Dear well enough to meet the legal standard of mental capacity – to be able to understand the proceedings and to assist in one’s defence.
Dear’s lawyers and experts, however, said the government’s plan failed to take into account Dear’s age and health issues, including untreated high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which could worsen. due to side effects of the drug.
Cher, who called himself a ‘baby warrior’, destined to wage ‘war’ on the clinic for offering abortion services, arming himself with four semi-automatic rifles, five handguns , two other rifles, a shotgun, propane canisters and 500 rounds of ammunition, according to prosecutors. He began shooting outside the clinic before breaking inside by forcing his way through a door, according to his federal indictment.
According to the experts who testified and Dear’s attorneys, Dear has persecution delusions that lead him to believe that the FBI is following him because he called a radio show in 1993 to criticize the agency over the headquarters of the forces of order against the Branch Davidian complex in Waco, Texas. . He also believes that his lawyers work for the FBI and that the judge also knows about the arrangement.
Dear mentioned the radio call in one of many outbursts at the recent hearing, where he also claimed the shooting was a ‘success’ and told the judge to go to hell because he didn’t have could not testify. He remained largely silent after Judge Robert Blackburn warned him that he would tolerate no further disturbances. The judge said he concluded the outbursts were not the result of Dear’s mental illness but of “selfish, childish and disaffected arrogance”.
After Dear’s lawsuit bogged down in state court on the issue of jurisdiction, Dear was indicted in federal court in 2019 under the 1994 Freedom of Entry Clinics Act. Federal prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty against him if convicted, but rather life in prison.
Two of those killed in the attack were accompanying 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, mother of two children who grew up in Oahu, Hawaii. The third person killed was a nearby college campus police officer, Garrett Swasey, who responded to the clinic after hearing there was an active shooter.