An alleged mass killer appears to have just been let off the hook — at least for now.
The Associated Press reported Friday that 22-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, the sole suspect taken into custody after a mass shooting at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, earlier this year that left 10 dead, has been found not mentally competent to stand trial.
Reports indicate that District Attorney Michael Dougherty has asked the judge to send Alissa to a state mental hospital for treatment. The judge reportedly granted that request Friday.
Dougherty made the request after four doctors deemed Alissa incompetent to stand trial. The law requires that a defendant be able to work with his legal team and understand the legal proceedings they are going through.
The reasons for the doctor’s findings were revealed only to the judge and attorneys in the case.
Alissa’s attorney merely has said that her client has a “serious” mental illness, without going into details. Dougherty, meanwhile, claims that Alissa has “deteriorated” mentally over the past several months while sitting in jail, according to the AP.
Dougherty said that his hope is that treatment will help Alissa become competent under the law to face prosecution, the AP added.
Prosecutors aren’t giving up yet
In March of this year, Alissa is said to have entered the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder and opened fire on those inside using a Ruger AR-566 pistol. When all was said and done, 10 people lost their lives, including a police officer, store employees, and several customers.
Alissa is now facing a slew of charges, including 10 first-degree murder counts, according to the New York Post.
His legal team has long tried to argue that mental illness would preclude Alissa from getting a fair trial, and it seems they’ve succeeded at this point.
As a result of the judge’s order to send the defendant for treatment, the case has been put on hold. His next scheduled court appearance is now not until March 15, 2022.
Nonetheless, Dougherty said he remains “100 percent confident” that Alissa will be “held fully responsible” for his actions. We’ll see.