Judge: Colorado shooting suspect is incompetent to stand trial

Friday's ruling by a judge that the man accused of killing 10 people in a Colorado supermarket in December last year was still mentally incapacitated to stand trial delayed court proceedings.

18 April 2022 Monday 08:53
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Judge: Colorado shooting suspect is incompetent to stand trial

However, the judge stated that it was possible for the assessment to change in the near future.

Judge Ingrid Bakke stated that experts at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo believe Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa (22 years old) can be restored to competency and continue to take medications. This prognosis was first made public in a March 11 scheduling decision.

Since December , when Bakke declared Alyssa mentally incapacitated -- incapable of understanding legal proceedings or working with his lawyers to defend him -- the prosecution against Alyssa is on hold.

Alissa is currently being treated at the state mental institution and was not present in court Friday's hearing. Alissa's ability to stand trial was again assessed by the judge on July 21.

Bakke's ruling was almost a month after Boulder, Colorado, celebrated the first anniversary of the attack on workers, customers, and a police officer, who ran inside the store.

Alissa's medical history has not been disclosed. Although reports on Alissa's evaluations are not publically available, a court filing last year discussing one of his evaluations stated that he was provisionally diagnosed with a mental condition that restricts his ability to "meaningfully communicate with others."

Competency is a different legal issue from a plea of guilty by reason or insanity. It involves whether someone's mental illness prevented them understanding right from wrong when a crime was committed.

Michael Dougherty, District Attorney, stated that it takes six months to restore competency. He refused to speculate as to when Alissa who has been in the state hospital for four month may be considered competent.

Robert Olds is the uncle of Rikki Olds (front-end manager) who was among the 10 victims. He said Alissa had more rights than the victims. Although he is hopeful Alissa will be brought to trial, he doesn't want to know what the next steps will look like because the legal process is slow.

He said that a trial would eventually come to pass. There is always the chance that it won't happen.

Investigators have yet to release any information on Alissa's motives or the reason he targeted the supermarket. Authorities say that he lived in Arvada, a nearby suburb. There he was subject to a background check and was able to legally purchase the Ruger AR-556 pistol which he allegedly used six times before the shooting.

The attack on King Soopers grocery in March 2021 shocked a state that had seen many mass shootings such as the Columbine High School massacre of 1999 and the Aurora theater shooting in 2012.

Eric Talley, 51-year old father of seven children, was killed and shot while running into the store with his initial team of officers. Rikki Ols was also killed along with Denny Stong and Neven Stanisic. Tralona Bartkowiak and Teri Leiker were also among the victims. Suzanne Fountain, Kevin Mahoney and Lynn Murray were also killed in and around the supermarket.

Remodeled King Soopers was reopened in February with approximately half of the workers who were there at the time of shooting returning.

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