BOULDER, Colo. — As the somber date of March 22 nears, state psychologists told a judge Friday afternoon that the suspected gunman in the Boulder King Soopers massacre is still not competent to have his criminal proceedings move forward.
During a brief hearing Friday in Boulder, Judge Ingrid Bakke said a new report from the hospital reached the same conclusion that Ahamad Alissa was not competent. Doctors added in the report that they still think Alissa has a “reasonable likelihood” of reaching competency, Bakke said.
The court has scheduled another competency hearing for April 28.
The court has received regular updates to the efforts the state hospital in Pueblo is making to restore his competency. Alissa was first deemed incompetent in December 2021, after two doctors said the suspect could understand the charges against him but had limited ability to meaningfully converse with others.
Those limitations prevented him from assisting with his own defense and caused concern about "potential over-reliance on his attorneys."
The suspected gunman has been in custody since the day of the shooting on March 22, 2021. Killed in the shooting were:
- Denny Stong, 20
- Neven Stanisic, 23
- Rikki Olds, 25
- Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
- Teri Leiker, 51
- Officer Eric Talley, 51
- Suzanne Fountain, 59
- Lynn Murray, 62
- Jody Waters, 65
In a March 2022 competency hearing, doctors at the state mental hospital previously said there is "substantial probability that the suspect will likely be restored to competency within the reasonable future."
Forensic psychologist, Dr. Max Wachtel, said in March 2022 that based on history, the chances of the suspect having his competency restored are high. He said most criminal defendants found to be incompetent are eventually restored to competency through the use of medications and therapy.
Janet Oravetz, Matt Jablow and The Associated Press contributed to the reporting of this story.
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