Defense: Forced medication likely won’t help accused gunman

Aug 31, 2022, 3:49 AM | Updated: 3:51 pm

DENVER (AP) — Forcibly administering anti-psychotic medication to a man charged with killing three people and wounding eight others in a 2015 attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic probably will not make him well enough to stand trial and could also harm his health, a defense expert said Wednesday.

Dr. George Woods Jr., a California physician specializing in neuropsychiatry, testified during a hearing in federal court to determine whether Robert Dear, 64, who has been diagnosed with delusional disorder, could be injected with the drugs while restrained — either by handcuffs if he agrees to them or by a team of six prison guards.

While a psychiatrist and a psychologist who evaluated Dear at the federal prison hospital in Springfield, Missouri, testified Tuesday that there was a substantial likelihood he would be made well enough to be able to work with his lawyers, Woods disagreed. He said research shows the drugs are less effective in treating the disorder in older patients like Dear. He also said the drugs could also exacerbate Dear’s existing health problems like high blood pressure and lead to him to develop vascular dementia, brain damage caused by strokes.

He said the plan from a prison psychiatrist to medicate Dear did not take into account the complexity of Dear’s case.

“It’s a standard template that doesn’t speak to the specific person Mr. Dear is,” said Woods.

However, a cardiologist who works with psychiatrists to prevent patients with heart conditions from being harmed by anti-psychotic medication at Denver Health, the city’s public hospital, testified Dear’s health conditions are not very unusual, noting that about half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure. If left untreated like Dear’s, Dr. Matthew Richard Holland acknowledged it can lead to congenital heart failure, strokes and kidney dysfunction.

Still, Holland said he doubted he would have been asked to consult on Dear’s case if he were a patient at his hospital.

According to his medical records, Dear reported having a heart attack but neither Holland nor Dr. Robert Sarrazin, the chief of psychiatry at the Springfield prison hospital, said they could find anything else in the records to back up that claim.

During the first day of the hearing Tuesday, Dear interrupted the proceedings multiple times with outbursts. On his way out of the hearing that day he shouted at Judge Robert Blackburn he shouted at the judge “I had a right to take the stand, you bastard. Go to hell.”

On Wednesday, Blackburn said he initially tried to give Dear some leeway, assuming that his comments were related to his mental illness but said he now believes they are the result of “selfish, childish and disaffected arrogance.” Blackburn said Dear’s departing comments were the final straw and warned Dear he would immediately be removed if he continued to speak out during the proceedings

Dear, who was dressed in a khaki t-shirt and pants and not wearing any handcuffs, did not appear to react and looked down toward the defense table after testimony resumed following the warning. He did not say anything.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Arby's - LEHI, UT - OCTOBER 26: Exterior view of an Arby's restaurant on October 26, 2017 in Lehi, ...
Associated Press

Ex-Arby’s manager in Vancouver, Wash. sentenced after urinating in milkshake mix

A former manager at an Arby’s restaurant admitted to possessing child pornography and urinated into a milkshake mix
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Salt water creeps to New Orleans in low Mississippi River

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drought upriver has left the Mississippi River so low and slow that salt water is creeping farther than usual along the bottom toward New Orleans and threatening drinking water, the Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday. The Corps plans an underwater levee to block the wedge of heavier salt water before […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Officials: Search for migrants after boat sinks off Keys

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Four Cuban migrants swam to shore in the Florida Keys and three others were rescued from the ocean after their boat sank Wednesday, shortly before Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida. But 20 more people might be missing, officials said. The four Cubans reached Stock Island, just east of […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Asunción Ponce, left, marches with fellow members of the United Farm Workers in support of ...
Associated Press

California governor approves farmworker unionization law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A broadly smiling California Gov. Gavin Newsom joined about two dozen jubilant, cheering farmworkers camped outside the state Capitol Wednesday to sign one of the most contentious bills before him this year, reversing course on a measure to help farmworkers unionize after President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris supported […]
17 hours ago
FILE — Marijuana plants for the adult recreational market are loaded on a tractor for planting at...
Associated Press

900 apply for NY’s first licenses to sell recreational pot

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — More than 900 would-be pot shop operators have applied for a chance to open New York state’s first legal dispensaries for recreational marijuana, regulators said Wednesday. The state has said it plans to issue about 150 licenses in this first round, which was open only to people with past pot convictions […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

At least 6 people wounded in shooting at school in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — At least six people were wounded in a shooting at a school in Oakland on Wednesday, officials said. The scene of the shooting was “no longer active,” according to Alameda County Sheriff spokesperson Lt. Ray Kelly. Paramedics had transported six patients to hospitals, all with gunshot wounds, according to Oakland Fire […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Defense: Forced medication likely won’t help accused gunman