Robert Lewis Dear Jr., the man accused of killing three people and injuring 12 during a rampage at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood last month, declared himself to be “guilty” and a “warrior for babies” during a hearing on Wednesday.
The Denver Post reported that prosecutors announced that Dear would be facing 179 charges in the case. A preliminary charge included first-degree murder, for which he could face the death penalty.
It seems unclear whether or not he will plead innocent or guilty when the time comes, though, after he burst out in court: “I am guilty, there’s no trial. I am a warrior for the babies.”
According to CBS4 News in Denver reporter Rick Sallinger, Dear made multiple other references to his apparent motivation for the shooting, which it now seems clear was to attack Planned Parenthood because of how he viewed the work it does as an abortion provider.
The Post reports that Dear repeatedly interrupted his own lawyer, public defender Dan King, during the hearing and shouted “I will not meet with him again,” in apparent reference to King:
King requested that the judge order prompt discovery in the case so the defense team can learn “the depth of Mr. Dear’s mental illness.”
Dear interrupted, “You’re not my lawyer.”
King told the judge the sharing of evidence was vital. “It’s rather ironic that prosecutors have not disclosed one piece of evidence,” he started.
Dear interrupted, “You’re trying to silence me.”
King told the judge “I think the problem is obvious, your honor.”
Dear is also reported to have said “Protect the babies!”
The victims of Dear’s alleged Nov. 27 massacre included University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police Officer Garrett Swasey, who was responding to the call for help at the center, and Ke’Arre Stewart and Jennifer Markovsky, who were accompanying friends to the clinic. Swasey was a father of two. Stewart was a father of two and an Iraq War veteran. Markovsky was a mother of two and a member of a local Christian Orthodox Church.