BOULDER, Colo. — In one month, prosecutors handling the King Soopers shooting case will get a chance to argue that the suspect is ready to stand trial, despite reports from doctors.
It's been more than two years since 10 people were killed at the grocery store in Boulder. The court proceedings against the shooting suspect have been at a standstill, but a judge's decision after the three-day hearing starting on May 23 could change that.
"If in fact the judge rules the suspect is competent, it's a very significant step toward getting justice for the victims in the shooting," said 9NEWS legal expert Scott Robinson.
A judge will hear testimony and evidence over three days and then will decide whether the suspect is competent to stand trial.
"It's really going to come down to a credibility contest between experts, but it isn't just two experts," Robinson said. "And anticipate a half-dozen experts of related psychological fields testifying during this hearing."
In December 2021, the judge ruled the suspect was not competent to stand trial based on evaluations from doctors at the Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Pueblo.
Then, last month, prosecutors requested a hearing. They said the diagnosis from the hospital is "flawed and inaccurate."
The court filing noted staffing issues at the facility. It claimed the "extraordinary backlog of cases" has impacted the time, attention, treatment and evaluation of the suspect.
"The defense is urging the judge not to order competency hearing because apparently the psychologist and psychiatrist in Pueblo don't feel the suspect is competent," Robinson said.
All of the defense's experts continue to say the suspect is too sick to participate in his defense, but the judge sided with the prosecution on April 5, granting their motion for a restoration hearing.
It's their chance to possibly move this to trial.
"If the judge finds the suspect still incompetent, there's really not much the prosecution can do than to buy time and try again down the road," Robinson said.
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