Based on statements containing "delusional beliefs" that accused cop killer and active shooter Robert Lewis Dear made to a detective and to psychologists, a Colorado judge ruled on Wednesday that Dear was mentally incapable of participating in the case against him, reports CNN.
After two days of hearings in April and May, 4th Judicial District Judge Gilbert Martinez deemed Dear incompetent to stand trial for the time being. The ruling puts the criminal case on hold while Dear undergoes treatment at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo to restore him to competency, Martinez said.
Seeking to dispel perceptions that the ruling might indefinitely stall proceedings, Martinez told reporters after Wednesday's hearing that "competency is a determination of the defendant's current mental status." Every 90 days hospital staff will send a report to the court on his status and whether they believe he is competent to stand trial. The first one is due August 11.
"Nobody has said that he is permanently incompetent," Martinez said. It's not unusual that people are restored to competency. "There are cases where people have been found permanently incompetent. Those are rare situations."
Dear, 57, is charged with 179 felony counts including murder and attempted murder in the November 27, 2015, shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Officer Garrett Swasey of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) police department was killed that day.