Accused Planned Parenthood clinic gunman ruled mentally incompetent

Competency hearing continues for Planned Parenthood shooting suspect
Competency hearing continues for Planned Parenthood shooting suspect

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 11 (Reuters) - The man accused of killing three people and wounding nine others in a shooting rampage last year at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado was declared incompetent to stand trial at a court hearing on his mental state on Wednesday.

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The ruling by El Paso County Judge Gilbert Martinez effectively means a suspension in criminal proceedings stemming from the first fatal attack on a U.S. abortion provider since 2009.

The defendant, Robert Lewis Dear, 58, will transported back to a state mental hospital in Pueblo, Colorado, for "restorative treatment," and his status will be reviewed again in 90 days, on Aug. 11, the judge ordered.

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Martinez cited the findings of two court-appointed state psychologists who evaluated Dear and concluded he was suffering from a psychotic delusional disorder that they said rendered him mentally unfit to stand trial.

The judge said he was persuaded by the psychologists that while Dear could comprehend the proceedings from a factual standpoint, his delusions and paranoia left him unable to meaningfully assist in his own defense.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Colorado Springs; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Chris Reese)

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