Death Penalty

Accused shooter in Colo. movie theater massacre seeks insanity plea


Lawyers for James Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting spree last summer, is seeking court permission to change his not guilty plea.

In a Tuesday filing (PDF), lawyers for Holmes say they intend to “tender a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity,” the Denver Post reports.

A Monday hearing is scheduled to determine if they have “good cause” to change the plea, Judge Carlos Samour Jr. wrote in an order later on Tuesday.

The change of plea had been anticipated; lawyers for Holmes previously filed five motions seeking clarification from the court about the rules for pursuing an insanity defense, Courthouse News reports.

Its article also provides a link to a copy of the judge’s scheduling order (PDF).

Attorney Craig Silverman, a former Denver prosecutor now in private practice has been observing the case. He tells Reuters that he expects the judge to approve the plea change in the death-penalty case.

“This is not a whodunit. The premeditation is obvious, so the only defense possible is insanity,” Silverman said.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Colorado Shooting Suspect Texted Classmate About Mental Illness, Wrote ‘I Am Bad News’”

ABAJournal.com: “First Suits Filed re Shooting Spree During Batman Movie Blame Colo. Theater for Lax Security”

ABAJournal.com: “Accused Colorado movie shooter offers plea deal as prosecutors mull their options”

ABAJournal.com: “Prosecutors will seek death penalty against suspect in Colorado movie shootings”

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