The Latest: Colorado clinic gunman to get mental evaluation

AP News
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Posted: Dec 23, 2015 5:24 PM

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The latest on the case against Colorado Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

A judge has ordered a mental competency evaluation for the man accused of killing three people last month at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic.

The evaluation comes over the objections of Robert Lewis Dear, who has insisted he is competent to make decisions about his defense. Dear said Wednesday that he wants to defend himself.

Dear again accused his appointed defense attorneys of wanting him declared incompetent so they can give him drugs to make him "a zombie."

Dear slumped in his chair Wednesday to mimic Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, who appeared stoic and unresponsive throughout his long trial earlier this year.

Prosecutors objected to the competency evaluation, arguing that Dear understands what is going on. But Judge Gilbert A. Martinez didn't budge, ordering the evaluation and setting the next court date for Feb. 24.

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2 p.m.

A man who has acknowledged killing three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic says he wants to represent himself in legal proceedings.

Fifty-seven-year-old Robert Lewis Dear told a judge in Colorado Springs on Wednesday that he wants to invoke his constitutional right to defend himself.

The judge told him to listen to the advice of his attorney. But Dear questioned how he could trust his attorney, Daniel King, after King suggested he wasn't competent to stand trial. The judge cleared the courtroom so Dear and King could talk.

King represented Colorado theater gunman James Holmes.

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10:20 a.m.

A man who has acknowledged killing three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic is due in court for a status hearing.

The hearing Wednesday is an opportunity for attorneys to discuss issues in the case.

Lawyers for 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear have raised doubts about his competency to stand trial in the Nov. 27 shootout at the Colorado Springs facility that also left nine people injured.

Prosecutors have charged Dear with 179 counts, including first-degree murder, attempted murder and assault.

Dear repeatedly disrupted his previous court appearance, declaring himself guilty and "a warrior for the babies." He objected to his lawyer's efforts to limit publicity.

The Associated Press and other news outlets want a judge to unseal arrest and search warrants in the case.