Shooting suspect says he’s competent

DENVER (AP) — A man accused of killing three people and injuring nine others at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado in 2015 appeared in court in Denver on Friday on new charges and insisted he is competent to stand trial.

Federal prosecutors have asked the judge to order a new mental evaluation for Robert Dear, who was previously ruled to be incompetent to stand trial in state court.

“Justice has been delayed. It’s been delayed for four years,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Pegeen Rhyne.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen Mix on Friday gave Dear’s attorneys until Dec. 20 to respond to the request. Dear has said he is guilty and told the judge he understood his rights and the charges against him.

“Yes, I understand totally,” said Dear, who was handcuffed in the front, shackled at the waist and wore a tan jail suit.

Dear’s competency is a top issue as federal prosecutors seek to swiftly advance the case against him. He faces dozens of state charges but has repeatedly been deemed incompetent by state authorities.

Dear consistently has insisted he is competent.

In their motion, federal prosecutors cited “notable problems” with the state’s tests for a mental evaluation, but they did not elaborate. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.


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