Robert Lewis Dear, 57, of Colorado was in in court today via video conference, his first court appearance since he was arrested on November 27 as the alleged shooter in the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood attack.
Dear appeared with his court-appointed public defender, Daniel King, in the jail’s video room, appearing before Judge Gilbert Martinez in El Paso County district court. Today’s hearing was held to answer the state requirement of informing Dear of his rights. Some of the victim’s of the Planned Parenthood shooting were also in court today.
Martinez explained to the prisoner, appearing in handcuffs, leg irons and upper body swathed in a padded vest, that first-degree murder was among the charges against him. The judge further explained that should Dear be convicted of that charge, the minimum sentence that could be imposed would be a life sentence without parole, with the possible maximum sentence of death.
King did most of the talking on Dear’s side, with the alleged shooter answering with only a few words to questions directed to him by the judge.
Judge Martinez advised both Dear and his attorney that they are now under a restraining order, routine in criminal court cases, from having contact with or attempting to intimidate victims or witnesses to the crime. The restraining order will remain in place throughout the hearings.
Dear and attorney Daniel King, who had recently co-represented James Holmes, are next scheduled to appear in court, District 10 on December 9, 2015, when formal charges are expected to be filed by the district attorney’s office.
District attorney Dan May explained that his office has 63 days from the date of Dear’s arraignment to decide whether or not to seek the death penalty.
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