The suspect in the Boulder King Soopers grocery store shooting that killed 10 people last year is still not mentally competent to stand trial, 20th Judicial District Chief Judge Ingrid Bakke ruled Thursday.
Ahmad Alissa, 23, is accused of killing 10 people at the grocery store on March 22, 2021. He faces more than 100 charges, including 10 counts of first-degree murder, but the criminal case against him has been stalled for months as he has been found mentally unable to comprehend the proceedings.
Alissa has been undergoing treatment at a state mental hospital to attempt to restore him to mental competency and allow the court case to proceed.
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.
Many defendants who are initially deemed incompetent receive treatment and are restored to competency within six months. Some cases stall indefinitely, like the case against the man charged with killing three people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015, who consistently has been found incompetent to proceed since early 2016.