Criminal Justice

Judge OKs insanity plea for accused shooter in Colo. movie theater massacre


Establishing the framework for pretrial proceedings for the man accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 more in a Colorado movie theater shooting spree last summer, a state court judge on Tuesday ruled that defendant James Holmes can change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.

Holmes, under state law, must now undergo a psychiatric exam, and Judge Carlos Samour also ruled that a notebook Holmes sent to his psychiatrist would be admissible, the Denver Post reports. As part of the psychiatric exam, Holmes will be administered “truth serum”—probably a barbiturate such as sodium amytal—which was approved by previous judge William Sylvester, according to the Guardian.

The 89 motions released to the media today indicate that defense attorneys are likely to request a change of venue in the Arapahoe County case.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Accused shooter in Colo. movie theater massacre seeks insanity plea”

ABC News: “James Holmes’ Insanity Plea Accepted by Court in Colorado Theater Massacre”

USA Today: “Holmes enters insanity plea for Colo. theater shootings”

Updated at 3:29 p.m. to add the detail about “truth serum.”

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