In a bizarre court hearing on Wednesday, Robert Lewis Dear left little doubt as to whether or not his murder of three people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood killing late last month was connected to 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. His outbursts included: “I am a warrior for the babies,” “Protect the babies,” and “You’ll never know what I saw in that clinic. Atrocities, that’s what they want to seal.” Dear also asked, “Could you add the babies that were to be aborted that day?” in response to a courtroom discussion of a list of the shooting’s victims. “Could you add that to the list?”
Rick Sallinger, a local CBS reporter, relayed more of Dear’s interruptions on Twitter: “You’ll never know the amount of blood I saw in that place” and “Seal the truth, kill the babies, that’s what Planned Parenthood does.”
The CBS affiliate also recorded video of Dear saying, “I want the truth to come out. There’s a lot more to this than for me to go silently into the grave. There’s a lot of things that they don’t want to be known. Planned Parenthood and my lawyer are in cahoots to shut me up.”
Dear “yelled” several other times and a bailiff repeatedly tried to calm him.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. Nine more people were wounded, including five police officers.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.Dear reportedly urged that his preliminary hearing and arraignment take place “as soon as possible” and even lashed out at his lawyer, Daniel King, who represented Aurora, Colorado mass murderer James Holmes, saying, “You are not my lawyer.”King suggested that Dear may not be competent to stand trial, and as NBC reports, a hearing to be held on Dec. 23 will decide his competency. 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. In 1992, he was charged with raping a woman who said she repeatedly refused his advances, but the charges were later dismissed. In 1997, Dear’s then-wife Pamela Ross filed a police report accusing him of locking her out of the house and pushing her out of a window.
Dear also allegedly has history with Planned Parenthood. His acquaintances described him as holding anti-abortion views and another ex-wife, Barbara Mescher Michaux, who was married to Dear from 1985 to 1993, told NBC News that Dear put glue in the locks of a Planned Parenthood center nearly 20 years ago. Said Michaux, “For him to plan this and go there, he meant to go there. There is no doubt in my mind.”