By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - The man accused of fatally shooting three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado last year told a Denver television station that he wants to plead guilty and expects to be executed, the CBS affiliate reported on Wednesday.
In a phone call from the El Paso County jail where he is being held without bond, Robert Lewis Dear told a reporter with KCNC-TV that he wants to act as his own lawyer and is willing to pay for his crimes.
“Well, I’m just an honest man and I believe I’m guilty so I am just going to plead guilty,” he said. “I’d say that they are going to execute me.”
Dear, 57, stands accused of 179 felony counts, including charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and assault stemming from the Nov. 27 attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs that also wounded nine.
Police said Dear opened fire with a rifle outside the clinic and then stormed inside, ultimately surrendering after a five-hour standoff.
El Paso County District Attorney Dan May said after a court hearing last month that he has not decided if his office will seek the death penalty.
Dear said in the interview that he believed the FBI had been following him for decades, and on the day of the rampage 10 agents were tailing him. He then chose to make his “last stand” at the Planned Parenthood clinic because “it’s murdering little babies," he told the station.
“They (FBI agents) slither off like snakes and they get the local cops to do their dirty work, so that’s why the shootout was there,” he said.
Among the three people killed was a police officer from a nearby university who responded to the scene.
At an earlier hearing, Dear said he was “a warrior for the babies,” and did not want his court-appointed lawyers to represent him.
El Paso County District Court Judge Gilbert Martinez ordered Dear to undergo a mental examination to determine if he is competent to fire his lawyers and defend himself.
Dear told the judge that he would not cooperate with the evaluators, which he repeated in the television interview.
“I’m just letting you know I am sane, I am coherent... I have a college degree,” he said on the phone call.
A spokeswoman for the FBI’s field office in Denver could not be immediately reached for comment.
A status hearing on the case is set for Feb. 24.
(Editing by Victoria Cavaliere)