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Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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Planned Parenthood Shooting Suspect Appears in Court

Planned Parenthood Shooting Suspect Appears in Court in Front of Relatives of Victims

(Photo : Handout | Getty images News) Robert Dear, the man accused of killing three people and wounding nine in a shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, made his first court appearance on Nov. 30 by way of video link from jail

A gunman accused of opening fire and killing three people and injuring nine others inside a Planned Parenthood Clinic last week appeared in court on Monday and was told he would be charged with first-degree murder and could face death penalty.

Since he was taken into custody, 57-year old suspect Robert Lewis Dear Jr. has been held without bond. During his first court appearance, he wore a protective vest and kept casting his eyes downward while speaking to the judge via a closed circuit TV. The victim's relatives watched from the El Paso County courtroom, NBC News reported.

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Relatives and friends of those who were killed in the shooting sat quietly on three wooden benches with their arms around one another as they watched the proceedings.

According to Washington Post, during the hearing, the 57-year old spoke only four words. He said "Yes" twice when the chief judge Gilbert Martinez asked him if he understood his rights and the charge he would face. When he was asked if he had any questions by the chief judge for Colorado's 4th Judicial District, Dear replied calmly "No questions." Before the screen turned black, Dear could be seen mouthing a silent "Thank you."

Martinez said that Dear will be formally charged on Dec. 9. He is accused of killing a police officer and two civilians in a shooting rampage on Friday. The chief judge added that he faces a minimum sentence of life in prison and a maximum sentence of the death penalty. As a result of the closely watched case, staunch opponents of abortion have already united, CNN reported.

After the shooting, Dear mentioned "baby parts" and expressed anti-government and anti-abortion views, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said.

Dear stood next to Daniel King, his public defender during the hearing. Daniel was one of the attorneys defending James Holmes, who was convicted earlier this year of killing 12 people and wounding another 70 during a 2012 shooting spree in a Colorado movie theater.

 

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