The state-level case of Robert Lewis Dear Jr. — the man who allegedly shot and killed three people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood in 2015 — continues to stall as attorneys await the result of a federal appeal to not have Dear forcibly medicated.
Attorneys gathered on Friday morning for a status conference for Dear, where prosecutor Jennifer Viehman told the court that they are still awaiting the conclusion of the appeal before they can move forward with the case.
Dear's state case has been in limbo for years after he was found incompetent to stand trial. Attorneys on Friday said that his state case, where he faces 179 charges, will be on hold until there is a resolution at the federal level.
U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn in federal court determined in September that Dear could be forcibly medicated in an attempt to have him stand trial. However, due to an appeal filed by Dear's defense attorneys, he can't be forcibly medicated until the end of the appeal process.
Viehman said that filings on Dear's federal appeal case for the defense are due on March 31, meaning there could be substantive updates at Dear's next state-level status conference on May 26.
Dear did not appear in court on Friday morning, and hasn't appeared for the past several hearings at the state level.
Dear is accused of entering a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood with an assault rifle, shooting and killing three and injuring nine others on Nov. 27, 2015. Ke’Arre Stewart, Jennifer Markovsky and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police Officer Garrett Swasey died. Nine other people — five of them law enforcement officers — were wounded during the course of a five-hour standoff.
Dear called himself “a warrior for the babies” during his first court appearance in December 2015 after the killings. He yelled over attorneys at least 15 times.
“I’m guilty — there’s no trial,” Dear said minutes into that initial hearing.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct date that filings are due for Dear's federal defense attorneys.