Robert Lewis Dear, the suspected gunman behind an attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, was ordered Wednesday to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after he insisted that he wants to represent himself in legal proceedings. The 57-year-old has been accused of killing three people and wounding nine others in a Nov. 27 shooting rampage at the clinic.
Judge Gilbert Martinez ordered the examination to determine whether Dear is fit to represent himself against charges of murder and other offenses. Dear’s mental competency has been under question after he made several outbursts during his previous court hearings. On Wednesday, Dear said that he did not trust his lawyers.
"I want to be my own attorney," Dear told the judge at Wednesday's hearing in El Paso County court, according to Reuters. Martinez urged Dear to trust his attorney, but Dear replied: "How can I trust him when he says in the newspaper that I'm 'incompetent?'
“I do not want them as my lawyers. I invoke my constitutional right to defend myself," Dear added.
Dear — a South Carolina native — is facing 179 felony counts, including charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and assault.
At his first hearing on Dec. 9, Dear told the court: "I am a warrior for the babies" and "You'll never know what I saw in that clinic," suggesting a possible motive for the killings, adding, "I am guilty. There is no trial.”
In another outburst at the court, Dear reportedly said that the state's Public Defender's Office wants to seal documents and limit discussion of his case to hide what he saw inside the clinic.
"You'll never know what I saw in that clinic. Atrocities. The babies. That's what they want to seal,” Dear said, according to the Associated Press.
Dear has been held without bond since surrendering after a nearly five-hour siege at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. After the shooting rampage, Dear reportedly mentioned “baby parts” and expressed anti-abortion and anti-government views, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.