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Judge continues to rule Robert Dear incompetent, next hearing in May

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Posted at 9:41 AM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 11:41:35-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The confessed gunman in the 2015 Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs continues to be deemed incompetent to stand trial in state court.

The court has not received a new report from the state hospital due to 61-year-old Robert Dear being in federal custody. The judge said after Dear returns to Pueblo, he will be reevaluated and a report will be sent to the court.

Prosecutors in January said Dear is in federal custody in Denver for an undetermined amount of time. Dear was indicted by a federal grand jury in December on new charges and he insisted he is competent to stand trial.

He is facing 65 counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and three counts of use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death where the killing is a murder, according to the indictment .

Dear has been undergoing treatment at the state mental hospital in Pueblo every 90 days for years after he was charged with 179 counts, including murder and attempted murder, in the shooting.

He has been deemed incompetent to stand trial and represent himself each time – the first judgment coming in May 2016. A judge ruled in 2017 he could be forcibly given an anti-psychotic medicine.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that if Dear is convicted in the federal case, he could potentially face the death penalty, but if that is not considered, he could face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.

Previous competency hearings took place every 90 days, but under new law will be set for every 60 days.

Dear's next competency review is scheduled for May 19 at 8:30 a.m.