The attorney for the gunman involved in the Colorado Springs shooting at a Planned Parenthood location that killed three people and injured nine requested that his client be committed to a mental hospital.
Daniel King, Robert Lewis Dear Jr.'s attorney, asked the judge to send Dear to the State Hospital in Pueblo.
Dear walked into court on Thursday morning quoting Luke 10:18, saying: "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." He then added that the Hebrew word for lightning is "barawk," which he noted is pronounced like "Barack" Obama.
Both the prosecution and the defense have seen Dear's mental evaluation. The results of the mental evaluation have not been released or discussed publicly yet due to the gag order in this case. There is a competency hearing scheduled for April 28 that the prosecution requested.
Also on Thursday, witnesses asked for their items back that were found at the shooting scene. The prosecution said they will return those items. One of the prosecutors noted that one of the victims asked for items they thought were out there, but the prosecution is unsure where those items are.
The prosecution then requested for all items from the jail associated with Dear, as well as his hospital and evaluation records.
The District Attorney Dan May explained to reporters how the process works and said if Dear were found incompetent during the April hearing, he would be sent to the State Hospital in Pueblo for treatment. The State Hospital would be required to give both attorney teams a report on Dear's treatment every 90 days.
"It could be that someone can be restored quickly, it could be that it takes some period of time,” May said.
9NEWS Psychologist Dr. Max Wachtel speculates that Dear's evaluation "probably says that he's incompetent" and that the shooter could remain in the mental hospital for several cycles of the 90-day evaluations.
"Maybe after a year of that, they then say he’s not likely to be competent in the foreseeable future and at that point a judge has some sort of decision that needs to be made, they can’t just drop the charges but you can’t keep somebody locked up having never been convicted of a crime," Wachtel said. "It’s going to be put the legal system in a really tough spot. If that ends up happening.”
Wachtel notes sanity and competency are two "very different things."
"Maybe he was insane at the time that he did this horrible thing, and that could be his legal defense, possibly," Wachtel said. "You have to be competent at the time of the trial in order to be able to make lots of decisions, to be able to work with your attorney, to understand what’s going on in court, to be able to make decisions about your defense, to accept a plea bargain or to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. It really is two separate things.
Dear is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder for the Nov. 30, 2015 shooting.