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

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Planned Parenthood shooting suspect declares during hearing: ‘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.

The outburst was one of dozens made by Robert Dear, 57, during his first court appearance at an El Paso County Court courtroom in Colorado Springs on Wednesday. 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. 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. That’s what Planned Parenthood does.” Dear was arrested after a standoff with police that lasted more than five hours, during which three people died, including a police office and Iraq war veteran, and 12 people were injured, nine of those by gunfire. An additional 131 counts of attempted first-degree murder and charges of assault, burglary and criminal mischief were filed in connection with the Nov. 27 attack.

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.

The Associated Press reported that Colorado Springs police have refused to discuss a potential motive in the November 27 attack, but even before his court outbursts there was mounting evidence that he was deeply concerned about abortion. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains President Vicki Cowart told the New York Daily News the gunman’s attack had been motivated by anti-abortion views. While Chief District Court Judge Gilbert Martinez issued a gag order for law enforcement and attorneys, Dear accused defense attorneys of hiding the “truth.” “The babies that were supposed to be aborted that day, could you add them to that list?” Dear said, reported the Denver Post.

That’s what they want to seal.” The Post reported that Dear’s attorney King asked the court to order prosecutors to provide them with evidence so the defense team can “learn the depth of Mr. Dear’s mental illness.” After the court appearance, Planned Parenthood’s Cowart released another statement, saying “our focus now is on recovery and making sure this never happens again.” “We continue to provide high-quality, compassionate health care in a safe, supportive environment,” she wrote. “Every day since this terrible tragedy, Planned Parenthood’s doors have been open across Colorado, across our Rocky Mountain region, and across this country. 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. But 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May asked Martinez to move forward and either require Dear to waive his right to have a preliminary hearing in 35 days or set the hearing.

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