Planned Parenthood suspect: ‘I am a warrior for the babies’

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Planned Parenthood Killer: ‘I Am a Warrior for the Babies’.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The man accused of killing three people in an attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic defied his own defense attorney in court, declaring himself a “warrior for the babies” who would not be silenced by the lawyer tasked with potentially saving his life. In a bizarre court hearing on Wednesday, Robert Lewis Dear left little doubt as to whether or not his alleged murder of three people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood killing late last month was connected to abortion.

Robert Dear, 57, repeatedly interrupted public defender Daniel King and accused him of seeking a gag order in the case to conceal what Dear portrayed as Planned Parenthood’s crimes that led to the Nov. 27 assault. The gunbattle ultimately claimed the life of one officer and injured five, the highest police casualty count in a single incident in the U.S. in two years and a reflection of the danger that mass shootings pose to police.

Despite a constitutional right to remain silent, the accused mass shooter couldn’t keep his mouth shut during a court appearance — ranting and raving about the “atrocities” of abortion. CNN reported that Dear loudly proclaimed himself “guilty” and had nearly 20 other outbursts in the courtroom as he was charged with 179 felony charges, including eight options of first-degree murder and 131 counts of attempted first-degree murder. The conflict added a new level of turmoil to a politically charged case that has already sparked debate about when political speech becomes a call for violence. “You’ll never know what I saw in that clinic,” a bearded, unkempt and shackled Dear yelled on Wednesday in one of more than a dozen outbursts as King successfully argued for the gag order by contending that public discussion of the investigation could prejudice potential jurors. “Atrocities. Can you add that to the list?” He is represented by a court-appointed lawyer Daniel King, a public defender, who was also one of the lawyers for James Holmes, the mass shooter who killed 12 people at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater in 2012. “Do you know who this lawyer is?” Dear yelled in court about King. “He’s the lawyer for the Batman shooter. King appeared to be trying to follow the same playbook he used in his defense of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, whom he convinced a jury earlier this year to spare from execution on the grounds of his mental illness.

Planned Parenthood and my lawyer are in cahoots to shut me up.” The victims Dear is now charged with killing are University of Colorado—Colorado Springs officer Garrett Swasey, and two civilians, Ke’Arre Stewart and Jennifer Markovsky. And officers hoping to save victims’ lives often confront the gunman without backup and without much information about what he looks like or where he is. That was the case in Colorado Springs, where a recording of police radio transmissions shows officers were trying to find the gunman and save injured civilians while under deadly fire themselves. Although law enforcement sources told NBC News shortly after the shooting that Dear said, “No more baby parts” when he was taken in for questioning—an apparent allusion to the Center for Medical Progress’s unproven allegation that Planned Parenthood profited illegally from fetal tissue donation—none of Dear’s reported outbursts on Wednesday made explicit reference to the undercover videos released by the anti-abortion organization this summer.

If convicted, Dear could be executed, with District Attorney Dan May saying that a decision will be made about what sentence to seek within two months of Dear’s arraignment. Dear, who moved to the small town of Hartsel, Colorado last year with a woman named Stephanie Bragg, has a long history of alleged violence against women. And a law enforcement official told The Associated Press this week that Dear asked at least one person in a nearby shopping centre for directions to the clinic before opening fire. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said Monday that responding officers rescued 24 people from inside the clinic building and helped remove 300 people from surrounding businesses where they had been hiding while the shooting unfolded.

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