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King Soopers shooting suspect remains incompetent to proceed

His next review hearing is set for Jan. 27, 2023.

BOULDER, Colo. — The case against the man accused in the March 2021 attack at the Boulder King Soopers that left 10 people dead is still on hold.

Boulder County District Judge Ingrid Bakke said Friday that Ahmad Alissa remains incompetent to proceed in the case against him. 

>Video above from March: 1 year after shooting, people return to Table Mesa King Soopers to remember

His next review hearing is set for Jan. 27, 2023. The Colorado Mental Health Institute is required to provide progress reports to the court every month until Alissa is deemed competent.

20th Judicial District Attorney Michael Dougherty spoke on behalf of the victims' families, some of whom were present in the courtroom, saying that the families are frustrated with the state mental hospital for not having restored the suspect back to competency.

Judge Bakke empathized with the families' frustrations and said the state hospital is doing its best at getting the suspect back to competency. 

The suspect has been in custody since the March 22, 2021 shooting at the grocery store on Table Mesa Drive. Killed in the shooting were: 

  • Neven Stanisic, 23
  • Kevin Mahoney, 61
  • Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
  • Rikki Olds, 25
  • Denny Stong, 20
  • Lynn Murray, 62
  • Teri Leiker, 51
  • Jody Waters, 65
  • Suzanne Fountain, 59
  • Eric Talley, 51

Alissa is charged with 115 counts, which includes 47 sentence enhancers, that would result in harsher penalties if he's convicted.

The case has been on hold since Dec. 3, when Bakke ruled the suspect was not competent to stand trial and confined him to the state mental health hospital in Pueblo.

She did so after two doctors concluded that he could understand the charges against him, and the potential sentence, but had limited ability to meaningfully converse with others.

RELATED: Boulder judge finds King Soopers shooting suspect incompetent to stand trial

His limitations prevented him from assisting with his own defense and caused concern about "potential over-reliance on his attorneys."

In March, the hospital said there is a "substantial probability that the suspect will likely be restored to competency within the reasonable future." 

Dr. Max Wachtel, a forensic psychiatrist, said in March that based on history, the chances of the suspect being restored to competency are high. He said most criminal defendants found to be incompetent are eventually restored to competency through the use of medications and therapy. 

"Sometimes it happens very quickly," he said. "Sometimes it might take six months or a year. But it almost always happens." 

Janet Oravetz and Matt Jablow contributed to the reporting of this story.

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