Colorado supermarket mass murder suspect is mentally incompetent, judge says

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A judge ruled Friday that the man charged with fatally shooting 10 people at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, in March is mentally unable to stand trial and has ordered that he be treated at a state hospital. , prosecutors said.

In the past three months, four doctors have concluded that the accused, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 22, is unable to stand trial, the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

“Since all doctors agree, there is no need to hold a hearing on the defendant’s competency and would not be in the interest of justice or judicial efficiency,” the prosecutor’s office said. . “Therefore, we have not requested an additional hearing and have requested that the defendant be transferred to the state hospital in Pueblo, Colorado, to have his competence restored as soon as possible so that we can move forward with the case.”

Authorities say Mr Alissa was armed with a military-style semi-automatic rifle and handgun when he walked into a King Soopers store on March 22 and opened fire. Ten people were killed as customers and employees took cover. Mr. Alissa, who lived in a nearby suburb of Arvada, Colorado, was charged with 10 first-degree murders, which carry a Colorado life sentence without parole.

At Mr Alissa’s first hearing in March, Kathryn Herold, a public defender who was among those charged with representing him, raised the possibility that he had a mental illness when she asked the judge to postpone the next hearing date. .

“We can’t do anything until we can fully assess Mr Alissa’s mental illness,” Ms Herold said at the hearing.

Ms Herold did not immediately respond to a message on Friday evening.

According to court records, two doctors evaluating Mr. Alissa concluded that his “superficial responses” to hypothetical legal situations indicated a “passive approach to his defense” and “potentially over-reliance on his lawyers.”

On Friday, Judge Ingrid S. Bakke of Colorado’s 20th Judicial District ordered the Colorado Department of Human Services to provide updates about Mr. Alissa every 30 days, according to the district attorney’s office. She also scheduled a hearing on March 15, 2022 to review his case, prosecutors said.

“Once the defendant’s competence is restored, he will be returned to Boulder and this case will continue,” the prosecutor’s office said. “Our agency will continue to fight for justice in this case.”

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