Richard Dear was accused of killing three people in an attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015. Although deemed mentally incompetent in state court, a spate of federal charges and a quickly approaching statute-of-limitations deadline convinced U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn to pursue a federal case against him.
As a matter of law, Dear’s mental competence has been evaluated every 90 days since his state trial began in May 2016. Results have shown, time and time again, that he is unfit to stand trial. Federal prosecutors may be facing an uphill battle in claiming the opposite.
The Denver Post spoke to Doug Richards regarding the case the government is attempting to make. “It really comes down to ‘Does the defendant understand the nature of the charges and is the defendant able to participate in the defense?’ It’s not as if we’re expecting the defendant to stand up and make an opening statement, but the defendant does need to be able to help the attorney answer questions as they come up.”
Dear appeared in federal court on Monday, December 9. After asking Judge Nina Wang if he’d be able to represent himself, his proceedings were postponed until Friday, December 13. You can read more at The Denver Post.