Boulder King Soopers shooting suspect found competent to stand trial

The man accused of killing 10 people in a mass shooting at a Boulder King Soopers was found mentally competent to stand trial by state evaluators, the Boulder County District Attorney’s office said in a statement Wednesday.

The criminal case against Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 24, has been delayed since December 2021, when Alissa, who defense attorneys say has schizophrenia, was found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial. He has been undergoing treatment and regular mental competency evaluations since then.

The Boulder County District Attorney’s office said in a news release Wednesday that state evaluators determined that Alissa “is now competent to proceed in this case.”

“The defendant has been deemed as restored to competency,” the news release said. The determination means the criminal case against Alissa can now move forward.

“The District Attorney’s Office has filed a motion with the Court, asking that the Court make the judicial finding that he is competent and take action to schedule a preliminary hearing as soon as practicable,” the news release said.

A competency evaluation considers whether a criminal defendant is mentally ill or developmentally disabled, and whether that mental illness impedes the defendant’s ability to understand the court process. Competency refers only to a defendant’s current mental capacity and is distinct from an insanity defense, which focuses on the defendant’s mental state at the time of the alleged crime.

Alissa is accused of carrying out a mass shooting in the Table Mesa King Soopers grocery store on March 22, 2021. Those killed in the attack were: Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Teri Leiker, 51; Eric Talley, 51; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jody Waters, 65.

Alissa began to undergo involuntary treatment at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo in March, court records show, and began to engage more with the treatment as it continued.

Alissa is next due in Boulder County District Court on Aug. 29 for a status conference.

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