In Colorado Springs, Colorado, Robert Dear, the man accused of killing three people in an attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic there, stopped court proceedings on Wednesday with an outburst demanding that he be allowed to represent himself.
Earlier in the status hearing, as Judge Martinez was ordering a mental competency evaluation for the accused shooter, who freely acknowledged his involvement in the November shooting earlier this month, Dear, 57, interrupted to say that competency evaluators would want to “administer the drug treatment and make me a zombie.”
“Do I sound like a zombie?” he asked, according to the Associated Press. “Do I sound like I have no intelligence?” Dear, who faces 179 counts, including first-degree murder and attempted murder, is currently being represented by Daniel King, an attorney from the Colorado public defender’s office. “I do not want them as my lawyers. I invoke my constitutional right to defend myself,” he said.
According to The Guardian, Judge Gilbert Martinez encouraged Dear to trust his lawyer. Dear asked, “How can I trust my attorney when he says I’m incompetent in the newspaper?” The judge then cleared the courtroom so that Dear and King, who also represented Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, could speak privately.