Accused in Planned Parenthood shooting wants to act as own lawyer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A man who acknowledges killing three people in an attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic defiantly told a judge Wednesday that he would not submit to a mental competency evaluation and wanted to fire his public defender and represent himself.

See Full Article

Robert Dear, 57, interrupted Judge Gilbert A. Martinez during a hearing where Martinez went ahead and ordered the evaluation to determine whether Dear is capable of deciding to represent himself.

Martinez told Dear it was his right to refuse to answer an evaluator's questions. Dear replied that if he did not co-operate, a doctor would declare him incompetent and "administer the drug treatment and make me a zombie."

"Do I sound like a zombie? Do I sound like I have no intelligence?" he asked the judge.

Dear, unkempt and wearing blue jail scrubs, repeatedly interrupted the status hearing held to discuss a range of issues related to the Nov. 27 shooting at the Colorado Springs clinic.

Martinez at one point warned Dear that whatever he said could be used against him and advised him to trust his lawyers.

"How can I trust my attorney when he says I'm incompetent in the newspaper?" Dear replied.

Martinez then cleared the courtroom of spectators to privately discuss the possibility of Dear defending himself.

When the courtroom re-opened, Deputy District Attorney Donna Billek objected to the competency evaluation, saying Dear had repeatedly made it clear through his statements in court that he understood the proceedings and the charges against him.

Martinez ordered the exam to take place at a state mental hospital, where a backlog of orders for such evaluations made it unclear when it could be completed.

Attorneys who are not involved in Dear's case say it isn't unheard of for defendants to refuse to participate in a competency evaluation, but they can be forced to attend even if they don't answer questions.

During the hearing, Dear repeatedly referred to the unresponsive courtroom behaviour of Colorado theatre shooter James Holmes, who was medicated during his four-month trial.

After Dear made his comment about being turned into a zombie by a doctor, he mimicked Holmes by slumping in his chair and referring to the "Batman guy." Holmes was convicted of opening fire at the premiere of a Batman movie.

Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty against Dear. Much of his legal team -- from lead attorney Daniel King, a public defender, to his paralegals -- also represented Holmes.

Dear faces 179 counts, including first-degree murder, attempted murder and other charges. At a court appearance earlier this month, he declared himself guilty, said he is "a warrior for the babies" and objected to the sealing evidence in his case.

On Wednesday, he claimed he was being poisoned in jail and urged the judge to have a sample of his hair tested to "see if there's any drugs that have been put into my system while I've been in jail."

Dear's family and acquaintances describe him as a man with a violent temper, anti-government sentiments and longstanding disgust toward people who provide abortion services. He spent most of his life in North and South Carolina before recently moving to an isolated community in Colorado's mountains, where he lived in a trailer with no electricity.

Authorities have revealed little about the preparations behind the attack, where Dear held police at bay for more than five hours. Nine other people were injured in the attack that forced the evacuation of 300 people from businesses surrounding the clinic.

Dear's next court appearance is Feb. 24.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Dashcam footage shows cop punching black man during stop in Cleveland suburb [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    CLEVELAND — A dashcam video of a traffic stop that led to a white police officer with a history of disciplinary issues repeatedly punching a black man and hitting his head on pavement appears to show a different sequence of events than police had originally described. Source
  • New York subway officials to alter Confederate Flag-like tiles at Time Square station

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Transit officials have decided to alter subway station tiles that have a cross-like design similar to that of the Confederate flag. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is modifying the tiles at the 40th Street entrance to the Times Square subway stop to avoid any confusion about their meaning, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said in a statement. Source
  • Dieppe: Veterans return to site of Canada’s deadliest day in WWII

    Canada News CTV News
    More than 900 Canadian soldiers were killed in the French coastal town of Dieppe on August 19, 1942, the bloodiest day for Canada in the entirety of the Second World War. Saturday will mark the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid. Source
  • Steve Bannon 'going to war' at Breitbart after Trump ousts White House Chief Strategist [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Steve Bannon, a forceful but divisive presence in President Donald Trump’s White House, is leaving. Trump accepted Bannon’s resignation on Friday, ending a turbulent seven months for his chief strategist, the latest to depart from the president’s administration in turmoil. Source
  • John McCain completes round of radiation, chemo for brain cancer

    World News CTV News
    PHOENIX -- The daughter of U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona says the 80-year-old lawmaker has completed the first round of radiation and chemotherapy as he battles an aggressive form of brain cancer. Meghan McCain also tweeted Friday afternoon that her father's "resilience & strength is incredible. Source
  • U.S. denies Alberta man's request to visit sick mom with brain tumour

    Canada News CTV News
    A Canadian permanent resident is hoping for a miracle after the United States rejected his request to visit his ailing mother, who is suffering from a brain tumour. Alan Arellano grew up in San Diego, where his mother Theresa still lives. Source
  • Lucky loon sought out Alberta campers to save it from fishing gear

    Canada News CTV News
    NORDEGG, Alta. -- This is a story about one lucky loon. Don Gibson was standing with his family on a dock in Fish Lake Provincial Park in west-central Alberta last weekend when he noticed a normally standoffish loon -- one of a group of five that call the lake home -- swimming toward them. Source
  • Photographer faces $185M lawsuit over photos of underage ballet dancers

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    They were aspiring ballet dancers who travelled from Toronto and cities across Canada to realize their dreams at the renowned Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. But in a proposed $185 million class action lawsuit filed by Sarah Doucet of Toronto on behalf of her fellow underage students, she alleges they were coerced into posing for lurid photos by teacher Bruce Monk who then sold their images online without their knowledge or consent. Source
  • Canadian killed in Barcelona terror attack identified as PM confirms four others injured

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed one Canadian was killed and four others were hurt Thursday when a van plowed into crowds of tourists on a popular street in Barcelona. Trudeau is offering his condolences to the family members and friends of those injured. Source
  • Dark day at Dieppe remembered 75 years later

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    There has never been a worse — or bloodier — day in Canada’s long, proud military history than Aug. 19, 1942. Seventy-five years ago today, 5,000 Canadians, accompanied by 1,000 British commandos and a handful of U.S. Source