Charged King Soopers shooter declared unfit to stand trial

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BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) – A judge has ruled the gunman accused of shooting and killing 10 people in a Boulder King Soopers in March is incompetent to stand trial.

Ahmad Alissa faces a total of 10 first degree murder charges, 15 attempted first degree murder charges and 11 attempted first degree murder charges from law enforcement officials.

His lawyer raised the question of his jurisdiction on September 1. In the period that followed, he was evaluated by several doctors.

In October, doctors said he was not qualified to stand trial due to limitations in his “ability to converse meaningfully with others.”

Additionally, physicians have cited “superficial responses” to hypothetical legal situations indicating a “passive approach to his defense” and “potential over-reliance on his lawyers.”

A second assessment was ordered at the time.

Due to the determination of this assessment, he will be treated at a public hospital and potentially face trial at a later date if it is determined that he is mentally competent. The next hearing of the case is expected to take place in March.

“Based on the latest skills assessment, we are confident that with medication and treatment the accused’s competence will be restored,” said an emailed statement from the district attorney’s office. “Our goal is to get him back on track and bring him back to Boulder so the matter can move forward.”

District Attorney Michael Dougherty did not reveal why experts determined Alissa was not competent. Alissa’s defense attorney, Kathryn Herold, said on Friday her client suffered from “serious” mental illness, but did not provide further details.

Jurisdiction issues have also delayed the prosecution of a man accused of killing three people in a 2015 attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

Robert Dear has been repeatedly found incompetent to pursue his cause. Federal prosecutors then charged him in 2019, but the jurisdictional issue continued to delay the case in federal court.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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