COLORADO SPRINGS — Robert Dear, the man who admitted to killing three people and injuring nine others at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood in November 2015 is now facing charges in federal court. These are different than the criminal charges filed by the state.
Because the 5-year statute of limitations of the FACE Act which is Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act is closing in. The U.S District Attorney in consideration of the views of both the 4th judicial district attorney and victims, the decision was made to file charges now.
Since the 2015 attack, the shooter who’s admitted to doing the act has been held in the state mental hospital in Pueblo. Monday he was in Denver to hear the 13 pages of new federal charges against him.
“The United States Attorney for the District of Colorado filed a 68-count indictment against Robert Dear in federal district court. That’s a separate court from ours and a separate action,” said Colorado District Attorney Dan May.
“The dozens of victims of this heinous act, as well as the Colorado Springs community itself, deserve justice,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “After four years of lengthy delays in state court, and in consultation with the 4th Judicial District Attorney and victims, this office made the decision to charge Mr. Dear.”
No progress has been made in the case in El Paso County as incompetency status conferences have yielded the same result every 90 days since.
In the document Dunn said, Robert Dear fired nearly 200 bullets during an attack on a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs with 27 people inside. He also allegedly rigged the place with explosives.
According to the U.S. DA Jason Dunn, there are 65 counts of violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Many of them accusing him of intentionally injuring or attempting to injure or intimidating people from obtaining or providing reproductive health services. Dear is also facing three counts of use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death where the killing is intentional.
“68 sounds like a lot to me,” said May. “It reflective of the number of victims here. There were a lot of people who were hiding that day, a lot of people who were injured, a lot of people who were murdered.”
Federal prosecutors said Dear, is not charged with homicide because federal law does not have a homicide offense that applies in this case.
The federal case could still run into the same incompetency roadblocks.
“We are still pursuing our case very vigorously,” said Colorado District Attorney Dan May.
Dear still faces the 179 counts, including murder and attempted murder on the state level and these cases can be tried simultaneously.
He set to appear in court yet again for that case on Jan. 9 for a status conference on his competency.
Whitney Phillips, VP of Communications and Brand Experience, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains sent FOX21 a statement about the development:
“Despite the passage of time, the memories of November 27, 2015, remain all too fresh for many of us, and our hearts go out to all whose lives were forever changed by the actions of the gunman. We look forward to the day when we can all have an element of closure and until then we continue to come together as an organization to recover and to thrive. Given that this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to speak any further on the topic.”Whitney Phillips