Mental stability of Dear questioned in court


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Accused Planned Parenthood gunman Robert Dear could not keep his mouth shut during Wednesday’s hearing, which makes the next step to see if he’s mentally stable to withstand a trial.

Dear, who is accused of killing three and injuring nine at the Planned Parenthood clinic, is charged with 179 counts, including first degree murder and attempted murder.

Patrick Mika said the evaluation process to see if he is mentally stable can take about 60 days. He also said Dear’s outburst in the courtroom on Wednesday could hurt the defense’s case about him being mentally impaired.

“The more outrageous the act of violence the more suspect the person’s mental condition is,” criminal defense lawyer Patrick Mika said.

That’s why verbal outbursts like “nobody will know the amount of blood I saw in that place,” and “I want the truth out this is unheard of that the prosecution is trying to help get the truth out and you’re trying to silence the truth. You’re trying to make me,” could be used against Dear in his mental health evaluation.

“Anything that man says in the courtroom can be construed as a confession or a statement against his interest or something that could cause his insanity or defense or impaired mental condition as a defense to be considered bogus or erroneous,” Mika said.

Sometimes that makes it even harder for an attorney to plan his strategy on how to defend him.

“A big part of the case is that relationship and cooperation between the client and the lawyer,” Mika said.

Dear’s outbursts create a difficult challenge for the lawyer to prove he is mentally unstable.

“I did these things for these reasons, which not only provides a rational irrational basis, but at the same time a motive for why he acted violently and the way he did that day,” Mika said.

Especially if the client has his own agenda he’s trying to get out.

“Focused on getting an idea or message of his own across in spite of how it could impact adversely on his case, it makes it very hard for the lawyer,” Mika said.

If the defense’s evaluations show he is mentally unstable, the prosecution can also perform their own evaluation on Dear.

Another hearing has been set for December 23.

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