DENVER — Federal prosecutors will not be seeking the death penalty in their case against admitted Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Dear, according to a notice filed Wednesday.
Dear faces 65 federal counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, as well as three counts of use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death where the killing is a murder. These charges meant prosecutors could seek the death penalty, but it was up to them to decide whether or not to do so.
The prosecutors announced their decision in a one-sentence notice stating “The United States of America hereby notifies the Court and defendant ROBERT LEWIS DEAR, JR. that it has elected not to seek the death penalty in this case.”
No further explanation was provided.
Friday marked five years since the shooting, which happened on Black Friday 2015 at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. Iraq war veteran Ke’Arre Stewart, mother Jennifer Markovksy, and UCCS police officer Garrett Swasey were killed in the shooting. Nine other people were injured.
Dear was captured that day after an hourslong standoff with police.
The 4th Judicial District case against Dear has not advanced since May 2016, when the court first deemed him mentally incompetent to stand trial.
A grand jury indicted Dear on the federal charges in December 2019.