COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) – A judge ruled on Thursday that the Club Q mass shooting suspect, accused of killing five people last year, will get a jury trial and is being held without bond.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, the 22-year-old suspect, is facing over 300 charges, including murder and bias-motivated crimes following the November 2022 shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
On Tuesday during a formal filing of charges, District Attorney Michael Allen noted that the murder charges could carry the harshest penalty, which is life in prison.
Aldrich, who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, appeared for the preliminary hearing Wednesday, where prosecutors worked to establish probable cause for the 305 charges filed in the mass shooting.
“It is not a trial,” legal analyst Christopher Decker told Nexstar’s KDVR. “It is more of a screening device to insure that all of the charges that have been brought against the defendant — that there is probable cause to believe that [they] committed those crimes.”
Prosecutors focused on Aldrich’s “aversion to the LGBTQ community” to establish probable cause. The prosecution also made a case for a pre-meditated attack on the club that was inspired by a “neo-Nazi white supremacist” shooting training video found during the investigation.
Aldrich’s lawyers instead presented the picture of a suspect under the influence of drugs and forced by their troubled and sometimes abusive mother to go to LGBTQ clubs. The defense had also brought up Aldrich’s mental health for the first time, showing photographs of pill bottles for drugs that had been prescribed to treat mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and PTSD. Defense attorney Joseph Archambault, however, didn’t say if Aldrich had been formally diagnosed with any of those mental illnesses.
Lawyers noted Aldrich had expressed remorse for the November shooting.
An arraignment was set for May 30. Aldrich will undergo a mental health evaluation, the judge decided.
Aldrich was arrested on Nov. 20 after they allegedly entered Club Q with an assault-style rifle and opened fire, killing five and injuring 25 others. Patrons were able to tackle and restrain Aldrich until police arrived.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.