A Colorado court ruled that the man accused of shooting and killing three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in 2015 remains mentally incompetent, following a previous ruling of incompetency in May 2016.
The judge’s ruling comes as a review of the court’s January ruling that the shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, was mentally incompetent and could be forcibly medicated, according to the Associated Press. The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in early January to uphold a lower court’s decision to allow the forced administration of anti-psychotic drugs to the 59-year-old shooter, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
“Because the [Supreme Court] test was met, we further conclude that the forced administration of antipsychotic medications to Dear is not an unconstitutional deprivation of his liberty,” the judges ruled in their decision, according to Reuters.
Dear admitted to shooting three people at the Colorado Spring clinic in November 2015. Judge Gilbert Martinez ordered a mental evaluation in response to Dear’s rash of outbursts that he was a baby warrior, and other similar statements.
“Nobody has said that he is permanently incompetent,” Martinez said following his ruling, according to CNN. “There are cases where people have been found permanently incompetent. Those are rare situations.”
After Martinez ruled that Dear was not stable enough to represent himself at trial, Dear has been held in a mental hospital but has refused all medications, according to court documents.
Under Colorado’s criminal insanity statute, a defendant is deemed insane if he “is so diseased or defective in mind at the time of the commission of the act as to be incapable of distinguishing right from wrong with respect to that act,” or “suffered from a condition of mind caused by mental disease or defect that prevented the person from forming a culpable mental state that is an essential element of a crime charged.” A defendant who is deemed unable to competently stand at trial undergoes a mental health evaluation every 90 days in order to determine if competency has been restored.
Dear will continue undergoing mental evaluations until he is found sane or deemed permanently incompetent.
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