DENVER (Reuters) -The suspect in the mass shooting that killed five people and wounded 17 at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub appeared before a judge in a video link from jail on Wednesday, slumped to the side and in a wheelchair, showing facial injuries and with difficulty speaking.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, had been in hospital since his arrest early Sunday morning until Tuesday, when he was transferred to jail.
His advisement hearing took place via video link, with the defendant handcuffed and wearing a jail uniform.
Though officials have not detailed his injuries, the suspect was pummeled by Richard Fierro, a decorated former Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, in a successful effort to stop further bloodshed at Club Q in Colorado’s second-largest city.
Police initially held Aldrich on arrest charges of five counts of first-degree murder and bias crimes stemming from the Saturday night killings.
Those charges were not discussed in the brief hearing, during which defense lawyers asked to receive a copy of the arrest warrant. El Paso County Judge Charlotte Ankeny granted the request with the proviso that the warrant not be made public.
El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen said after the hearing he expected to file formal criminal charges ahead of the defendant’s next court hearing, tentatively scheduled for Dec. 6.
In the meantime, Allen said his office would continue to ask that Aldrich be held without bail.
Defense lawyers with the Colorado State Public Defender said in court filings on Tuesday that Aldrich identifies as non-binary, prefers they/them pronouns, and will be referred to in court filings with the Mx. honorific.
Allen said that would have no bearing on how he would prosecute the case, including whether to charge hate crimes.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Richard Chang)
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