Planned Parenthood case drags on


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Robert Dear: Still quoting Scripture. - JAIL PHOTO
  • Jail photo
  • Robert Dear: Still quoting Scripture.
The prosecution of Robert L. Dear, 57, on 179 criminal counts in the Nov. 27 Planned Parenthood shooting took another baby step Thursday when District Judge Gilbert Martinez scheduled a hearing on Dear's mental evaluation.

Dear told several media outlets in recent weeks the mental review found him incompetent to stand trial. Thursday, the District Attorney's Office asked for a hearing on the evaluation's conclusion and sought all supporting documents that led evaluators to that conclusion. The hearing will be April 28.

Martinez also heard arguments about unsealing the arrest and search warrant affidavits in the case, which he had placed off limits to the public without announcing in court the reasoning behind his decision.

A bevy of media organizations, including the Independent and the Gazette, have been petitioning for release of the documents ever since. After the Colorado Supreme Court, in response to the media pleas, ordered Martinez to reconsider his ruling in light of recent developments, the judge asked for positions of the the public defender (still opposes release) and DA Dan May. May said he still wants certain personal information and names of some victims not yet identified to remain redacted, along with any medical information, but otherwise said it's OK with him if they're released.

Media attorney Steve Zansberg of Denver, at the hearing Thursday, argued that some of those redactions are superfluous, considering the information has already come to light in media reports. 

Martinez took the arguments under advisement and didn't announce his decision.

Meantime, Dear, dressed in a lime green jail suit which denotes "precautions," shuffled into court in wrist and leg shackles and once again blurted out Bible quotes as he was led into the courtroom. But it was his only outburst, unlike in previous hearings where he repeatedly proclaimed his guilt, insisted he be allowed to represent himself or said he wanted to save the babies.

Thursday, he said, "I saw lightning fall from heaven." That's a verse from Chapter 10 of Luke in the New Testament that recounts when Jesus sent 72 disciples into the countryside to evangelize ahead of his visits. Here's more of the passage at issue:
16Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”

17When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

18“Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”


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