US & Canada

Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic killer unfit for trial

Robert Lewis Dear attends a hearing to face 179 counts of various criminal charges at El Paso County court in Colorado Springs, Colorado Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Dear has confessed to killing three people and wounding nine others

A man who confessed to killing three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic last year has been declared mentally unfit to stand trial.

Robert Dear will be treated at a state psychiatric hospital and may eventually be tried if his mental health improves.

On 27 November, Mr Dear, 57, opened fire at the clinic in Colorado Springs. Nine people were also wounded.

In a previous court appearance, Mr Dear called himself a "warrior for the babies" and made repeated outbursts.

On Wednesday, Mr Dear called the judge a "filthy animal" as he was led out of the courtroom.

Experts testified that he was not capable of understanding the court proceedings or able to assist in his defence.

Mr Dear could still face the death penalty if he is convicted.

Those who knew Mr Dear before the shooting described him as having a violent temper, anti-government sentiments and longstanding disdain for abortion providers.

He told police he idolised Paul Hill, an anti-abortion activist who killed a Florida doctor more than two decades ago.

He had recently moved to a remote part of Colorado after spending years living in North and South Carolina.

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