‘They drove me to the nuthouse to silence me’; Accused Planned Parenthood shooter insists he’s competent to stand trial

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COLORADO SPRINGS– The man accused of killing three people during a 2015 shooting rampage at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility insisted – in federal court – that he understands the charges filed against him this week.

“Yes. I understand totally,” Robert Dear shouted from his seat at the defense table in Magistrate Judge Kristen Mix’s U.S. District courtroom. He interrupted the defense attorney who was speaking on his behalf.

On Monday, a federal grand jury returned a 68-count indictment against Dear including charges for using a firearm to commit a murder.

“They drove me to the nuthouse to silence me….There is nothing incompetent about me. Nothing delusional….You victims out here are being denied your day in court,” Dear yelled.

During Friday’s hearing, the attorneys for the defense and prosecution made arguments about the prosecution’s motion for a federal competency exam to be conducted on Dear.

He has previously been found incompetent to stand trial in state court.

However, he undergoes a new competency review status conference approximately every three months for the state case, according to Lee Richards, a spokesperson for the District Attorney representing the 4th Judicial District. His next hearing in the state case is January 9, 2020.

Dear said his previous competency exams were not recorded on video.

“I begged them at the nuthouse for four years to have video tape,” he said. “This evaluator comes in there (and) makes up a bunch of lies,” he said. Dear asked if a future federal competency exam would be recorded on video.

Pegeen Rhyne, the Assistant U.S. Attorney handling the case, said said she believes the doctor with whom the prosecution has consulted, Dr. Park Dietz, would make a recording of the evaluation.

However, the judge has not yet ruled whether a competency exam will be granted.

Family members of one deceased victim sat in the front row during the hearing but did not comment to FOX31 about the new federal charges or Dear’s outbursts in court.

“Justice has been delayed. It has been delayed for four years,” said Rhyne, arguing that there should be no more further delays in allowing her case against Dear to proceed.

A judge allowed the defense to have until December 20, 2019 to present a more detailed response to the government’s request for a competency hearing. The court will decide whether the competency hearing will proceed after December 27, 2019.

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