mug suspect.jpg
Caption +

Karrar Al Khammasi has pleaded not guilty.

Show MoreShow Less

An Iraqi refugee accused of shooting a Colorado Springs police officer in the head is competent to stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Karrar Al Khammasi, 32, was ordered to return to court Sept. 6 to be arraigned after a judge approved his attorney’s request to withdraw a not-guilty plea he previously entered. Khammasi was assigned a new public defender after his previous attorney left the Colorado Springs office.

Iraqi immigrant accused of shooting Colorado Springs cop remained in U.S. despite series of crimes

He was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, assault with a deadly weapon, felony menacing and illegal possession of a weapon.

Five-year police officer Cem Duzel was wounded in an Aug. 2, 2018, gunbattle near the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Khammasi had been kicked out of an Uber for being “handsy” with the driver moments before his encounter with the officer.

Colorado Springs police officer 'gravely wounded' in shootout; suspect arrested

Khammasi, who came to the United States as a refugee, had been slated for deportation in 2016, until a change in immigration law meant his felony trespassing conviction was no longer grounds for removal.

The judge’s finding on competency came after Khammasi underwent separate evaluations by psychologists, both concluding that he understood the charges against him and is capable of assisting in his defense.

Reporter

I cover legal affairs for The Gazette, with an emphasis on the criminal courts. Tips to lance.benzel@gazette.com

Load comments