Accused Planned Parenthood clinic gunman ruled mentally incompetent

Reuters News
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Posted: May 11, 2016 7:06 AM

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - The man accused of killing three people and wounding nine others in a shooting rampage last year at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado was declared incompetent to stand trial at a court hearing on his mental state on Wednesday.

The ruling by El Paso County Judge Gilbert Martinez effectively means a suspension in criminal proceedings stemming from the first fatal attack on a U.S. abortion provider since 2009.

The defendant, Robert Lewis Dear, 58, will transported back to a state mental hospital in Pueblo, Colorado, for "restorative treatment," and his status will be reviewed again in 90 days, on Aug. 11, the judge ordered.

Martinez cited the findings of two court-appointed state psychologists who evaluated Dear and concluded he was suffering from a psychotic delusional disorder that they said rendered him mentally unfit to stand trial.

The judge said he was persuaded by the psychologists that while Dear could comprehend the proceedings from a factual standpoint, his delusions and paranoia left him unable to meaningfully assist in his own defense.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Stephen Coates and James Dalgleish)