NATIONAL NEWS

Mentally ill man charged in Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting can be forcibly medicated

Jun 11, 2024, 1:48 PM

DENVER (AP) — A mentally ill man charged with killing three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015 because it offered abortion services can be forcibly medicated, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruling upheld an order issued by a federal judge in 2022 allowing Robert Dear, 66, to be given medication for delusional disorder against his will to try to make him well enough to stand trial.

Dear’s federal public defenders challenged the involuntary medication order by U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn in part because it allows force to also be potentially used to get Dear to take medication or undergo monitoring for any potential side effects to his physical health.

Dear’s lawyers have argued that forcing Dear to be treated for delusional disorder could aggravate conditions including untreated high blood pressure and high cholesterol. However, in their appeal, they said that Blackburn’s decision to give prison doctors the right to force treatment or monitoring for other ailments is “miles away” from the limited uses for forced medication allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The defense questioned why Blackburn did not explain why he discounted the opinions of its experts who testified during a hearing on whether Dear should be forcibly medicated in 2022. But a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit said Blackburn sufficiently explained that he placed greater weight on the opinions of the government’s experts because of their experience with restoring defendants to competency and their personal experience working with Dear.

Dear has previously declared himself a “warrior for the babies” and also expressed pride in the “success” of his attack on the clinic during one of many outbursts at the beginning of that hearing.

After Dear’s prosecution bogged down in state court because he was repeatedly found to be mentally incomptent to stand trial, he was charged in federal court in 2019 under the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

Two of the people killed in the attack were accompanying friends to the clinic — Ke’Arre Stewart, 29, an Army veteran who served in Iraq and was a father of two, and Jennifer Markovsky, 36, a mother of two who grew up in Oahu, Hawaii. The third person killed was a campus police officer at a nearby college, Garrett Swasey, who responded to the clinic after hearing there was an active shooter.

National News

Image: With protesters in the audience, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun takes his seat to testify before th...

Associated Press

Boeing CEO apologizes to relatives of 737 Max crash victims, defends firm’s safety record

Lawmakers grilled the Boeing CEO about the firm's plans to fix its manufacturing issues and its willingness to heed whistleblowers' warnings.

58 minutes ago

Associated Press

Man who followed woman into her NYC apartment and stabbed her to death pleads guilty to murder

NEW YORK (AP) — A man pleaded guilty to murder on Tuesday for stabbing a woman to death after following her from the street into her lower Manhattan apartment building. Assamad Nash, 27, also pleaded guilty to burglary as a sexually motivated felony in the Feb. 13, 2022, attack on 35-year-old Christina Yuna Lee. “Today […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Vermont lawmaker apologizes for repeatedly pouring water in her colleague’s bag

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker from Vermont has apologized for repeatedly pouring water into a Democratic colleague’s bag, after he caught her doing it on video. State Rep. Mary Morrissey publicly apologized to state Rep. Jim Carroll, colleagues and the citizens of Vermont from the House floor on Monday. Both are from […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Google to invest another $2.3 billion into Ohio data centers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Google will invest an additional $2.3 billion to support three data center campuses in central Ohio, the company announced Tuesday. The tech giant has centers in New Albany and Lancaster and one under construction in Columbus to help power its services such as search, Gmail, maps, cloud and YouTube for users […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Massachusetts suffers statewide outage of its 911 services

BOSTON (AP) — The 911 system across Massachusetts went down Tuesday afternoon, making it impossible for anyone to reach emergency services. “The State 911 Department is aware of a disruption to the 911 system and is investigating the cause,” the state’s Office of Public Safety and Security said in a statement. Boston Police Commissioner Michael […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

15-year-old girl shot to death hours before her middle school graduation, authorities say

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — A 21-year-old man has been arrested and charged with fatally shooting a 15-year-old girl hours before she was scheduled to attend her middle school graduation in Massachusetts, authorities said. Not guilty pleas were entered in court Tuesday on behalf of Trevor Bady. He was arraigned on charges of of murder, armed […]

4 hours ago

Mentally ill man charged in Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting can be forcibly medicated