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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Batman Shooting Suspect Slated for October Trial

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CN) - Accused movie theater shooter James Holmes will go to trial in October, a judge said Thursday, amid indications that the defense will seek new delays.

Holmes is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity to 166 criminal counts, including murder and weapons charges, related to the 12 people killed and dozens injured at the midnight premiere of a Batman movie in an Aurora theater on July 20, 2012.

The 26-year-old's trial was originally scheduled to begin this month, but the prosecution caused a delay by moving to have Holmes face a second psychiatric evaluation.

Looking rather tired, Holmes entered the Arapahoe County Justice Center on Thursday morning for a 30-minute hearing where Judge Carlos Samour set the trial date for Oct. 14. Though arrested with garish orange hair supposedly meant to evoke the villainous Joker character, the only orange on Holmes at the hearing was his detention center jumpsuit.

Prosecutors questioned whether the delay will conflict with Holmes' right to a speedy trial, but Judge Samour said he acknowledges things need to be timely but they need to be done right.

"It has to go without saying we need to be flexible," Samour said.

Holmes' attorney Tamara Brady said that the October trial date may not work as it may not give the defense enough time just in case things come up.

Samour disagreed, saying, "I'm comfortable with this ruling."

A psychiatric report is due July 11, at which point both sides will have to come up with a questionnaire for jurors. Samour said he expects there to be 6,000 jury summons sent.

Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.

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