DENVER (CBS4) – A federal grand jury in Denver has indicted Robert Lewis Dear in connection with the 2015 attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. The 68 count indictment says Dear was “intending to wage ‘war'” on Planned Parenthood because it offered abortion services.
Still obstinate, he called it a “kangaroo court” and once again claimed he is competent to stand trial.
“I’m not crazy, I’m just a religious zealot,” he told Magistrate Judge Nina Wang.
Three people were killed on Nov. 27, 2015, including a police officer, and nine others were injured. Dear has repeatedly been found not competent to stand trial on Colorado state charges and has been at the state hospital in Pueblo.
The indictment says Dear traveled to the clinic with four SKS rifles, five handguns, two additional rifles, a shotgun, more than 500 rounds of ammunition and propane tanks. The court document adds he first went up to a car with three occupants parked next to Dear’s truck and told them words to the effect, “You shouldn’t have come here today.” He then allegedly opened fire, killing one and seriously injuring the two others.
He is then accused of shooting at three other people, killing one and injuring another. The indictment says Dear then forced his way into the planned Parenthood Clinic. Occupants of the clinic hid, but one was shot through a wall. A standoff with police lasted five hours. Dear fired 198 bullets, according to the indictment.
He is charged with killing one officer and injuring four others. A standoff with police lasted five hours. Dear fired 198 bullets according to the indictment.
Dear also allegedly placed a propane tank in the parking lot and shot the tank in an attempt to create an explosion.
Not long after the attack, he called CBS 4 investigator Rick Sallinger from jail and claimed the attack saved lives.
“They got 4,000 babies get aborted every day. I guarantee you they had a lot of cancellations and I might have saved a thousand,” he said in January 2016.
Because the state case has failed to advance federal authorities decided to file charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
Legal analyst Karen Steinhauser says Dear still may not be able to stand trial in federal court.
“That would be surprising to me if found competent in one and incompetent in the other,” she said.
For his part Dear insists he wants to represent himself. He told CBS4 in 2016 that he is not sorry for what he did.
“Apologies, no I say that they are going to execute me, that will be apology enough,” he said in 2016. On this day in federal court he said he has been drugged and that caused a heart attack.
Planned Parenthood of the Rockies issued a statement by Whitney Phillips, its Vice President of Communications:
“Despite the passage of time, the memories of November 27, 2015, remain all too fresh for many of us, and our hearts go out to all whose lives were forever changed by the actions of the gunman. We look forward to the day when we can all have an element of closure and until then we continue to come together as an organization to recover and to thrive. Given that this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to speak any further on the topic.”