Posted Jan 11, 2013 09:45 pm CST
A judge on Friday postponed the arraignment of accused Colorado movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes until March 12.
The judge said that while he empathized with the victims’ desire for closure, he agreed that the defense needed more time to examine the mountain of evidence prosecutors have amassed against Holmes, according to multiple reports.
The move angered several survivors and relatives of the victims, at least four of whom stormed out of the courtroom when the ruling was announced, NBC News reports. “Rot in hell, Holmes!” yelled Steve Hernandez, the father of Rebecca Wingo, who was killed in the shooting. Others could be heard crying in the courtroom, muttering under their breaths or cursing in the corridor outside.
Holmes is charged with the murder of 12 people and the wounding of nearly 60 others during a shooting rampage at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises last July in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo.
Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester had ruled at the conclusion of a three-day preliminary hearing Thursday that there was enough evidence for Holmes to stand trial on 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes.
At Friday’s hearing, Tamara Brady, one of Holmes’ lawyers, said the defense needed more time to examine the evidence in the case, which prosecutors say includes more than 30,000 pages of discovery, 358 computer discs, 220 DVDs and 136 CDs, USA Today reported.
Sylvester reluctantly agreed to the request over the objections of prosecutors, who said that 84 victims or their survivors opposed any delay in the proceedings.
Hernandez apologized to the judge after his outburst, saying he meant no disrespect to the court.
“I am terribly sorry for your loss, and I can only begin to imagine the emotions that are raging,” Sylvester responded, according to NBCNews.com and the New York Times.