Friday, January 28, 2022

Colorado supermarket shot dead suspect, deemed incompetent for trial

DENVER (AP) – Experts have found that the man charged with killing 10 people in a Colorado supermarket earlier this year is currently mentally incompetent to stand trial, lawyers said during Friday’s court hearings.

Ahwad Al Alivi Alyssa, 22, is accused of opening fire on the bustling King Supers on the Boulder campus in March, killing a police officer, shoppers and several store employees, including an Olympic long-distance runner.

District Attorney Michael Dougherty said four doctors determined that Alissa was mentally incapable of participating in the trial. He asked to send Alissa for treatment in a state mental hospital.

Dougherty did not reveal why the experts determined that Alissa was incompetent. Alissa’s lawyer, Catherine Herold, said Friday that her client suffers from a “serious” mental illness, but did not provide further details.

Judge Ingrid Bakke ruled after Dougherty showed the test result that Alissa was incompetent and ordered him to be sent to a mental hospital.

The ruling suspends virtually all proceedings in the case for an indefinite period. Bakke has scheduled another hearing for March 15, 2022, almost a year after the shooting, to discuss if any progress has been made with Alissa’s treatment and decide what should happen next.

An earlier assessment indicated that Alissa was not mentally capable, but the prosecutor’s office asked for a second assessment.

Bakke ordered the first assessment after Alissa’s lawyers questioned his competence based on their own expert’s assessment.

Competence issues also delayed prosecutions of a man accused of killing three people in a 2015 attack on a family planning clinic in Colorado Springs.

Robert Deere has repeatedly been declared incompetent to run his business. Then, in 2019, federal prosecutors brought charges against him, but the issue of jurisdiction continued to defer the case in federal court.

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