DENVER Oct 18 A gunman deemed mentally unfit to
stand trial for killing three people at a Planned Parenthood
clinic in Colorado last year said in a courtroom outburst on
Tuesday that he is being "forcibly" drugged at a state hospital.
Robert Lewis Dear, 58, made the claim as he was being led
into an El Paso County courtroom for a hearing on issues related
to his criminal case, which has been on hold while he undergoes
treatment in an effort to restore him to mental competency.
Dear is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder,
attempted murder and assault stemming from the November 2015
shooting rampage at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado
Springs that also left nine others wounded.
He surrendered after a bloody five-hour siege and standoff
Shackled and appearing much thinner than in previous court
appearances, the bearded South Carolina native said the judge
has "put me in the nuthouse; forcibly medicated me," and was
going to "censor the media."
At issue during Tuesday's hearing was what of Dear's medical
records the state hospital has to turn over to prosecutors.
A hearing was conducted in a different county last week
about whether he should undergo "involuntary treatment."
El Paso County District Attorney Dan May declined after
Tuesday's hearing to discuss the outcome of those proceedings,
so it is unclear if Dear was forced to take medications against
Dear has interrupted every proceeding where he has been
present with outbursts about his anti-abortion views, including
one instance where he proclaimed his guilt and said he was a
"warrior for the babies."
The rambling statements led El Paso County District Court
Judge Gilbert Martinez to order Dear to undergo a competency
Two state psychologists concluded that the onetime
self-employed art dealer suffers from a psychotic delusional
disorder that renders him incapable of meaningfully assisting in
his own defense.
Martinez agreed, and in May ruled that Dear was incompetent
and ordered him to undergo treatment at the state mental
hospital in Pueblo in an effort to restore him to competency.
Under Colorado's competency statute, the state hospital must
report back to the judge every 90 days on his progress.
Dear is due back in court next month for a second review of
his mental status, and other issues including a motion by
defense lawyers that seeks to bar him for speaking to the news
(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Editing by Dan Whitcomb
and Tom Brown)