A defense attorney for the man charged with killing 10 people at a Colorado grocery store asked a judge Thursday to delay the case’s next hearing for weeks because the defense needs to assess what she called her client’s mental illness.
During suspect Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa’s first court appearance in connection with Monday’s massacre in Boulder, a prosecutor also told the judge he anticipates filing more charges in the case within weeks.
The judge, Thomas Mulvahill, agreed to set the next hearing, a status conference, in “about 60 to 90 days,” and ruled Alissa would remain jailed without bond at least until then.
“(The defense) cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa’s mental illness,” defense attorney Kathryn Herold, who’d asked for a three-month delay, had told Mulvahill. “We cannot begin to assess the nature and depth of Mr. Alissa’s mental illness until we have the discovery from the government.”
This was the first time Herold publicly mentioned her client’s mental health after Monday’s killings.
However, investigators have been examining possible mental health questions in the case, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation previously told CNN on condition of anonymity. Alissa’s brother also has said Alissa may have been suffering from mental illness.
Alissa sat in a wheelchair during Thursday’s hearing, wearing a blue gown. A mask covered his mouth and nose, looped around his ears. He spoke only when the judge asked whether he understood his rights.
Alissa is accused of opening fire outside and inside the King Soopers store Monday afternoon in the university town of Boulder, killing 10 people – including a police officer, store workers and shoppers – as numerous others fled or hid.