On November 27th, 2015, a mass shooting occurred in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Robert Dear, a self proclaimed “warrior for babies,” armed himself with five handguns, four semi-automatic rifles, two other rifles, a shotgun, propane tanks, and 500 rounds of ammunition in order to attack those who were at a local Planned Parenthood. Nine people were injured and three people lost their lives. After a five hour standoff with authorities, SWAT teams crashed two armored vehicles into the building in order for Dear to surrender himself to police custody. He was charged with first degree murder and has been held without bond.
In the many court appearances, Dear regularly interrupted proceedings by shouting at people within the courtroom and talking over anyone who spoke against him, according to CBS News. He regularly referred to the shooting as his “success” and told a judge to “go to hell.” Though U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn stated that his outbursts were not due to a mental illness but due to “selfish, childish, and disaffected arrogance,” Dear’s attorneys were able to stall his prosecution by claiming he was mentally incompetent, as a result of him refusing to take his anti-psychotic medication.
Nearly seven years since the shooting occurred, Judge Blackburn has ordered Robert Dear (now 64) to be forcibly medicated, so that he will be competent enough to stand trial. Prosecutors claim that medication will make him well enough to meet the legal standards of mental competency to comprehend proceedings and aid in his own defense. Dear’s attorneys argued that the medication could affect his ongoing health problems that stem from untreated high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but their concerns were overruled.
“Under the proposed treatment plan, and again based on clear and convincing evidence, involuntary medication of Mr. Dear is not substantially likely to engender dangerous and unmanageable side effects,” Judge Blackburn said.
The friends and families of those who died at the hands of Dear’s anti-abortion violence, as well as the surviving victims, are hoping to finally receive justice for his crimes. The date for Dear’s next appearance in court has not yet been scheduled.