Shooter ordered for mental evaluation

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Dear to submit to a mental compentency evaluation.
  • Dear to submit to a mental compentency evaluation.
Robert Dear, charged with 179 counts in the Nov. 27 Planned Parenthood shooting that killed three and injured nine, was ordered Wednesday to undergo a mental competency evaluation at the State Mental Hospital in Pueblo.

District Judge Gilbert Martinez ordered the evaluation over the objections of Dear himself, who blurted out that he has a constitutional right to represent himself. Martinez said he needs the evaluation before he rules on Dear's request, because Martinez must determine if Dear is making a "voluntary, knowing and intelligent" decision to represent himself.

Dear, who was surrounded by three sheriff's deputies throughout the 90-minute hearing, also interjected other comments, such as his fear he'll be drugged and turn into a zombie.

Martinez failed to rule on a motion to unseal arrest and search warrants in the case argued by Denver attorney Steve Zansberg, who represents a long list of media, including the Colorado Springs Independent, the Gazette, and every major television network, among others.

Zansberg made comments in court, in addition to filing a lengthy motion, saying the people are entitled to hear arguments for and against sealing such records and to hear reasons for a judge's ruling prior to the sealing of such records. That apparently didn't happen in the Dear case.

Martinez said he'd take the matter "under advisement" and gave no indication how long the media must wait for that ruling.

Dear is being held in the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center without bond.
 
The next court hearing will be on Feb. 24.

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