Robert Dear, Suspect in Colorado Attack, Appears in Court

1 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Loner will be charged with murder in Colorado clinic attack.

The Washington Post gave life to the idea that free speech is to blame for the recent Planned Parenthood shooting in a piece Monday headlined: “Abortion rights groups: Political rhetoric contributed to shooting.” These groups say the use of tough language to describe Planned Parenthood’s practice of distributing aborted fetal organs to researchers created an environment that contributed to Robert Lewis Dear Jr.’s decision to open fire in a Colorado clinic Friday.COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The man accused of a deadly shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs was told Monday that he will be charged with first-degree murder in the killing of three people, including a police officer, during the standoff at the facility. When the Center for Medical Progress began releasing the undercover footage, the non-profit and its supporters, in and out of the media, quickly emphasized the physical threat they say the footage posed to their staff, and adopted other talking points aimed at shifting the conversation away from the content of the criticism. Dear, 57, is accused of fatally shooting a university police officer who tried to stop the attack, an Iraq war veteran and a mother of two inside the clinic.

Dear wore a padded vest during his appearance, his hair and beard unkempt. “No questions,” Dear told Chief Judge Gilbert Martinez during the 13-minute court hearing in which he was advised of his rights and asked if he understood the process. Colorado Springs police have declined to disclose any information on a motive for the attack, and a judge ordered the sealing of investigatory court documents at the request of prosecutors.

WaPo gave credit to this line of thinking in the piece, implying that it’s out of bounds to criticize Planned Parenthood because it might contribute to armed attacks. “Politicians need to stop escalating the rhetoric against Planned Parenthood, and that means by and large the Republican Party,’’ pro-abortion consultant Laura Chapin told WaPo. “Right-wing politicians need to back off.” “They have ignited a firestorm of hate,” added Vicki Saporta, National Abortion Federation President. “They knew there could be these types of consequences, and yet they ratcheted up the rhetoric and ratcheted it up and ratcheted it up.” The piece includes statements from pro-life groups and politicians who have condemned the shooting, but Somashekhar does not dispute or criticize the pro-abortion groups’ claim that loudly opposing Planned Parenthood indirectly threatens the lives of its staff members. “Strict security measures have become the norm at abortion clinics, which often have bulletproof glass, surveillance systems, security guards and volunteer escorts to usher patients through a gantlet of antiabortion demonstrators,” she writes, bolstering the claims. “Staff members are advised to keep unlisted phone numbers and to vary their commutes.” Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. The official said the comment was among a number of statements Dear made to authorities after his arrest, making it difficult to know his specific motivation. Appearing with the defendant on Monday was Dan King, the public defender who earlier this year persuaded a jury to spare the life of Aurora, Colo. movie theater killer James Holmes. Attorney John Walsh said investigators have been in touch with lawyers from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights and National Security divisions, a move that suggests officials could pursue federal charges in addition to state homicide ones. One possible avenue could be the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which makes it a crime to injure or intimidate clinic patients and employees. “The case may fit the criteria for a federal domestic terrorism case, but based on my experience, I would be very surprised if this is not simply a local prosecution,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, a former U.S. attorney and state attorney general.

Enough is enough.” Leyonte Chandler told NBC News that Stewart, Chandler’s brother, had stepped outside the clinic to make a phone call when he was shot. Whatever authorities decide is sure to be controversial, given the political murkiness of Dear’s statements and the debate over Planned Parenthood, which was reignited in July when anti-abortion activists released undercover video they said showed the group’s personnel negotiating the sale of fetal organs. Neighbors who live near Dear’s former South Carolina home say he hid food in the woods and lived by selling prints of his uncle’s paintings of Southern plantations and the Masters golf tournament. Dan May, the state prosecutor in the case, said following the hearing that his office had not decided what specific charges to file or whether to seek the death penalty. Dear—who spent much of his life living in rural, wooded swaths of the Carolinas before moving to a remote Colorado outpost—told authorities “no more baby parts” after being apprehended, a law-enforcement official said.

John Hickenlooper said: “When people’s stories end tragically, we all ask the same question: ‘Why do horrible things happen to such good people?’ As we grieve Ke’Arre, Jennifer, and Garrett, and as we tell their stories, we must remind ourselves of one thing: In Colorado and in the world, there will always be more good people than bad ones. In 2010, Scott Roeder was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole for 50 years by a Kansas state judge after a jury found him guilty of killing abortion provider George Tiller at a Wichita church.

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