Robert Lewis Dear, the man who stands accused of fatally shooting three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, said he hoped that, when he died, the fetuses in heaven would thank him for stopping abortions.
According to court documents, Dear made the comment about fetuses in heaven thanking him after his surrender following the five-hour siege and mass shooting committed last November at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Dear’s killing rampage left three dead and nine others injured.
Dear, 57, is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
The statement that Dear hoped fetuses in heaven would thank him is simply one of several new disclosures about the Planned Parenthood shooting that have emerged after El Paso County District Court Judge Gilbert Martinez allowed arrest and search warrant affidavits related to Dear’s case and the Planned Parenthood shooting to be unsealed.
The unsealed documents show that Dear was plainly motivated by anti-choice sentiment, as Dear himself told police that he was upset with Planned Parenthood for performing abortions and “the selling of body parts.” Dear also admitted to being an admirer of Paul Hill, who was an anti-abortion extremist who murdered an abortion provider and his bodyguard in Florida in 1994.
Hill was executed in 2003 for that murder.
One victim, who was wounded by Dear at the Planned Parenthood, told police that Dear approached her in the parking lot and opened fire after telling her that she “shouldn’t have come here today,” the newly released documents state.
Dear later ambushed several officers who responded to the call at the Planned Parenthood clinic. Dear was also reportedly wearing a “homemade ballistic vest comprised of silver coins and duct tape,” police said.
Dear had several outbursts during his earlier hearings and during media interviews. At one point, Dear declared himself a “warrior for babies.” He also claimed that he was guilty and, as such, there would be no trial. But then he later said that he wanted to fire his court-appointed lawyer and defend himself.
“Yeah, I tried to save the babies. Yeah, I did have a shootout,” Robert Lewis Dear Jr. said in a phone interview with the Gazette. “But then all these other charges they’re trying to add on? No, I’m not going to plead guilty to something I didn’t do.”
Although Dear does admit to shooting and killing his victims, he seems to take offense at the 179 charges he has been charged with relating to the three murders and attempted murders, saying that prosecutors went “way overboard” in charging him.
Before being allowed to defend himself, Judge Martinez ordered that Dear, a South Carolina native, had to first undergo a competency exam at the local state mental hospital in order to determine if he was mentally fit enough to act as his own legal representation.
Dear claims that his attorneys showed him the report from the mental hospital stating that he is mentally incompetent which, in the state of Colorado, is a legal term that signifies whether or not a defendant can understand the court proceedings and is able to assist in his or her own defense.
But, no matter what the report may contain, only a judge can rule whether or not Dear is mentally competent. Judge Gilbert Martinez did not reveal results of the psychological evaluation during a hearing last week but instead set a date for a hearing on April 28, during which the person who evaluated Dear at the state mental health will likely testify.
If Dear is found incompetent, his case and trial will be delayed indefinitely while he is sent to a hospital for treatment. Prosecution for the three murders and additional 176 charges will resume only when the judge declares Dear to be competent.
In an interview last month, Dear indicated that he may have changed his mind and might not fire his lawyers.
“Yeah, I want to be my own attorney,” Dear said. “But if my attorney will start following my rules and doing what I want, then maybe I’ll work a deal with him.”
Those killed by Robert Dear at the Planned Parenthood clinic were a young mother, a U.S. Army veteran, and a police officer from a nearby university who responded to the scene.
[Photo by El Paso County Sheriff’s Office via the Associated Press]