Robert Dear, the man accused of shooting and killing three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs in November 2015, was indicted by a federal grand jury on 68 counts, the U.S. Attorney for Colorado announced Monday.
Robert Lewis Dear, Jr., 61, appeared before a federal magistrate judge at 2 p.m. Monday in Denver after he was taken into custody Monday morning at the State Mental Hospital in Pueblo, where he has been held as his state mental competency hearings have been ongoing. But he waived his first appearance, which will now be held on Friday.
However, Dear did speak in court on Monday, telling the judge, “I am not crazy. I am just a religious zealot.”
He also told the court that “they are afraid of the truth about abortions and selling of baby body parts” while on a rant in which he said he had a right to represent himself. Dear will be held in federal custody and not returned to the mental health facility in Pueblo pending his Friday court appearance.
Dear is charged with 65 counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE 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.
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SOURCE: The Denver Channel, Blair Miller