US & Canada

Colorado shooting suspect says he is guilty in court

Robert Dear Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The accused gunman said he is a "warrior for the babies"

The man accused of killing three at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado has said in court that he is guilty and a "warrior for the babies".

"I am guilty. There will be no trial. I am a warrior for the babies," he said during a court hearing where prosecutors announced his charges.

Robert Dear, 57, faces 179 charges for the attack that killed two civilians and a police officer, and wounded nine.

During the hearing, he was formally charged with first-degree murder.

The Planned Parenthood group has drawn anti-abortion protests in the past.

What is Planned Parenthood?

Dear said something about "no more baby parts" during his arrest and had asked for directions to the clinic prior to the attack.

"You'll never know what I saw in that clinic. Atrocities. The babies. That's what they want to seal,'' Dear said during the hearing.

Those who were killed in the attack include police officer Garrett Swasey, 44, Iraq War veteran Ke'Arre Stewart, 29, and Jennifer Markovsky, 35, who was taking a friend to the clinic.

Police have not discussed a motive in the shooting despite signs that Dear was concerned about abortion, a service provided by Planned Parenthood, a national family planning clinic.

Who is Robert Lewis Dear?

Image copyright AFP
  • Aged 57, owns a trailer on land in Hartsel, Colorado, about 60 miles (100km) west of Colorado Springs
  • Also owns a mountain cabin with no electricity or running water 15 miles west of Asheville, North Carolina, and had previously lived at Walterboro, South Carolina
  • Had arrest records in South and North Carolina including two counts of cruelty to animals in 2002, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported
  • A neighbour in North Carolina said he would often avoid eye contact and said religion or abortion never came up in conversation
  • Was an independent art dealer with a degree in public administration, according to the New York Times
  • Ex-wife Pamela Ross said told the paper she once called the police to accuse him of domestic violence
Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Dear is known to have spent time at this shack near Black Mountain in North Carolina

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