A federal grand jury has indicted the man who allegedly murdered three people and injured nine others during a rampage at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic on Nov. 27, 2015.
Robert Dear will have an initial appearance before a judge at 2 p.m. on Monday in Denver. Held at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, Dear has yet to face trial in state district court due to a finding that he is not competent to decide whether he can represent himself.
U.S. Attorney Jason R. Dunn cited “four years of lengthy delays” in deciding to pursue 65 counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and three counts of use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death where the killing is a murder, according to Dunn’s office.
The statute of limitations under the FACE Act is five years, which played into the decision to charge now. The 1994 law prohibits force or physical obstruction that aims to or does interfere, intimidate or injure any person seeking or providing reproductive health services. One year earlier, multiple arsons, blockades, a bombing and the murder of Florida physician David Gunn prompted federal lawmakers to respond.
Dan May, the 4th Judicial District Attorney for El Paso and Teller counties, noted that his office has worked with the U.S. attorney since the Planned Parenthood shooting. “The indictment, which is fully supported by our office, is a culmination of those joint efforts, and we hope shall serve as notice that the victims in this case will never be forgotten,” he said in a statement.
Dear’s state case for first-degree murder will proceed independently of the federal charges. He may face between 10 years and life imprisonment if convicted for the latter, although the government has not announced whether it will pursue the death penalty.
The alleged murderer, 57 at the time, fired 198 bullets, including at a propane tank he allegedly placed in a parking lot with the intent to ignite it. Jennifer Markovsky, Ke’Arre Stewart and police officer Garrett Swasey died as a result of Dear's alleged actions.
Since the attack, Dear claimed himself to be a “warrior for the babies.”