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Author Topic: Mass Shooting Inside Aurora, Colorado Theater -12 dead & 58 wounded  (Read 88394 times)
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« Reply #160 on: March 01, 2013, 02:00:24 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/01/aurora-suspect-james-holmes-defense-accused-of-misleading-judge/
Aurora Suspect James Holmes’ Defense Accused of Misleading Judge
January 31, 2013

An attorney for a journalist reporting on last summer’s theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., has accused the defense team for James Holmes of misleading the judge overseeing the case, a charge the defense strongly denied.
The journalist, Jana Winter, is fighting an effort to force her to reveal confidential sources used in a story about a notebook that Holmes sent to his psychiatrist Lynne Fenton before the shooting. Fenton never received the package containing the notebook, and it was seized by police.
Fox News published an article written by Winter citing two unnamed law enforcement officials who said the notebook contained “full details about how he was going to kill people” and “drawings and illustrations of the massacre.”
A gag order in the case was in effect when the article was published, and Holmes’ attorneys have been trying to determine who leaked the information to Fox News. At a hearing in December, several law enforcement officers testified they were not the source of the leak.
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A hearing on the issue of the leak was scheduled for next week. However, Judge William Sylvester pushed the hearing back on the calendar until April because the defense said it was not ready and because Sylvester wanted to make sure there were no errors introduced in the legal proceedings.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #161 on: March 01, 2013, 02:02:17 PM »

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/02/05/james-holmes-lawyers-object-to-ending-gag-order/
James Holmes’ Lawyers Object To Ending Gag Order
February 5, 2013

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) – Lawyers for the man charged in the Colorado theater shooting are objecting to the city of Aurora’s request to lift a judge’s gag order.

The city said last month that it has received several requests from emergency responders around the county for details on how city officials managed the July 20 attack. The city also has received requests from media, academics and individuals for items including recordings of 911 calls.
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« Reply #162 on: March 01, 2013, 02:03:36 PM »

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/movie-theater-shooting/james-holmes-lawyers-dont-want-cameras-in-courtroom-for-accused-shooters-plea
James Holmes' lawyers don't want cameras in courtroom for accused shooter's plea
February 4, 2013

AURORA, Colo. - James Holmes' lawyers don't want cameras in the courtroom when the accused movie theater shooter enters his plea in March.

In a filing made public Monday, Homes' attorneys said allowing cameras would violate Holmes' rights to a fair trial.
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« Reply #163 on: March 01, 2013, 02:04:42 PM »

http://www.examiner.com/article/james-holmes-defense-after-documents-jana-winter-hearing
James Holmes' defense after documents in Jana Winter hearing
February 8, 2013

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« Reply #164 on: March 01, 2013, 02:05:59 PM »

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/movie-theater-shooting/gag-order-on-james-holmes-case-will-remain-in-place-judge-decides
Gag order in James Holmes case will remain in place, judge decides
February 12, 2013

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The gag order limiting what police, paramedics and lawyers can say about the Aurora theater shooting will remain in effect, Judge William Sylvester in an order  made public Tuesday.

In the order issued Monday, Judge Sylvester recounted that the City of Aurora had requested the motion to limit pre-trial publicity be lifted.  Based on that order, the city has denied requests to speak to the media, schools, individuals and other law enforcement agencies.
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« Reply #165 on: March 01, 2013, 04:29:20 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/03/01/defense-again-indicates-that-colo-theater-shooting-suspect-james-holmes-might/
Defense again indicates that Colo. theater shooting suspect James Holmes might plead insanity
March 1, 2013

CENTENNIAL, COLO. –  Lawyers for the Colorado theater shooting suspect have indicated their client might plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

In court documents made public Friday, James Holmes' attorneys want the judge to declare portions of the state's insanity defense laws unconstitutional.

The filings say the laws in which a defendant may waive their right to remain silent and reveal confidential medical information should be unconstitutional in cases involving the possibility of execution.

Attorneys also say not knowing whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty directly impacts what type of plea to enter at the March 12 arraignment or what type of defense to use.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #166 on: March 01, 2013, 10:07:38 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/01/justice/colorado-holmes/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
Holmes' lawyers blast Colorado's insanity laws
March 1, 2013

CNN) -- Lawyers for James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado, theater mass shooting suspect, took aim against the state's insanity laws in court documents made public Friday.
"Colorado's statutory scheme regarding the affirmative defense of insanity, and the introduction of any 'mental condition' evidence at trial or sentencing, is unconstitutional in many individual respects," they wrote in a 60-page motion and brief filed Thursday.
The lawyers asked the judge to rule that parts of the state's insanity defense laws are unconstitutional. Among other issues, they cited the requirement that a defendant "cooperate" with examining psychiatrists as a violation of the defendant's privilege against compelled self-incrimination.
 ::snipping2::

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« Reply #167 on: March 08, 2013, 05:58:46 PM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-james-holmes-insanity-plea-ruling-20130308,0,1835827.story
James Holmes case: Judge rules Colo. insanity plea constitutional
March 8, 2013

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The judge in the Aurora movie massacre case has rejected a defense argument that Colorado laws on insanity pleas are unconstitutional, clearing the way for the long-awaited arraignment of James E. Holmes next week.

Holmes, 25, was arrested without resistance minutes after he allegedly opened fire July 20 inside a packed theater during the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Twelve people were killed and 70 were wounded in a crime that horrified the nation and is now invoked by both sides in the ongoing gun control debate.

Holmes has been held in isolation without bond and has not yet entered a plea. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

In anticipation of the arraignment, Holmes' attorneys filed a series of  motions challenging the state’s insanity plea laws and processes. His attorneys argued that the laws were vague and put Holmes in a Catch-22 position should he enter such a plea.

Once an insanity plea is entered, Holmes would be immediately examined by state psychiatric experts. The defense argued that if he cooperated with doctors, all of his past mental health records would be available and he would lose prior doctor patient privilege. If he did not cooperate, the defense contended that it could be held against him and defense witnesses testifying to his mental state would not allowed.

Chief District Judge William Sylvester of Colorado’s 18th Judicial District ruled that the state’s insanity plea process did not violate Holmes’ constitutional right against self-incrimination, right to remain silent, or interfere with his right to due process.

The judge did agree to provide the defense with a written advisement of the consequences of a defendant pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.
 ::snipping2::
It is not yet known if prosecutors will seek the death penalty. Colorado rarely imposes the death penalty. The district attorney has about 60 days to decide once a plea is entered.

Although a court gag order has been imposed on the case, the judge has agreed to allow cameras, but no audio, in the courtroom during the arraignment.
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« Reply #168 on: March 08, 2013, 06:01:27 PM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/08/james-holmes-trial-judge-_n_2837045.html
James Holmes Trial: Judge Denies Holmes' Defense Request To Overturn Colorado Insanity Law
March 8, 2013

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« Reply #169 on: March 12, 2013, 09:15:51 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-james-holmes-arraign-20130311,0,7793022.story
James Holmes to be arraigned in Aurora, Colo., theater massacre
March 12, 2013

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – James E. Holmes, the man accused of unleashing the movie theater massacre seven months ago in Aurora, Colo., is expected to enter a plea on Tuesday.

Holmes, 25, will be arraigned at 9 a.m. in a case involving a crime that has transfixed and horrified the nation in its viciousness. The former neuroscience doctoral student at the University of Colorado-Denver is accused of opening fire in a packed movie theater on July 20, killing 12 and wounding about 70. He is charged with 166 counts and could face the death penalty.

He has been held without bail in isolation at the Arapahoe County Jail since his surrender and arrest minutes after the theater shooting.

Late last week, Chief District William B. Sylvester, of Colorado’s 18th Judicial District, paved the way for the arraignment by overruling defense claims that the state’s laws on insanity pleas were unconstitutional.

It is widely expected that Holmes, whom his lawyers have characterized as deeply mentally ill, will plead not guilty by reason of insanity. If he is found to be insane or to have a mental defect, he would avoid the death penalty.
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« Reply #170 on: March 12, 2013, 09:17:23 AM »

http://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/truth-serum-could-be-used-colorado-shooter-james-h/nWpj5/
Truth serum could be used on Colorado shooter James Holmes
Judge has allowed use of the drugs

March 12, 2013

Holmes defense team may enter a plea of insanity today in the Aurora massacre case.
That may lead to the use of drugs known typically called “truth serum” being given to Holmes.
Judge William Sylvester has already approved the use of the drugs for what is termed a narcoanalytic interview.
The combination sodium amytal and pentothal are the common forms of the cocktail and are known to relax those who receive it and lower inhibitions making it more likely the patient will answer questions more honestly.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #171 on: March 12, 2013, 01:42:29 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/13/us/judge-enters-not-guilty-plea-for-james-e-holmes.html?_r=0
Judge Enters Not Guilty Plea for Suspect in Theater Rampage
March 12, 2013

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A judge here entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday for James E. Holmes, a former neuroscience student charged with killing 12 people and wounding scores more in a mass shooting in a suburban Denver movie theater.
In the days before Tuesday’s hearing, the judge in the case, William B. Sylvester, had laid the groundwork for Mr. Holmes to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, describing the mental examinations and court-ordered interviews that would flow from such a plea.

But Mr. Holmes’s lawyers told the court on Tuesday that they were not ready to enter any plea, and said they did know when they might be ready.

Clearly frustrated, Judge Sylvester refused the defense’s requests for more time and entered the simple not guilty plea for Mr. Holmes.
 ::snipping2::
Mr. Holmes can still change the plea, but prosecutors signaled they would fight any such move.

“As far as we’re concerned, they are entering a plea of not guilty, and what they have done to this point is not sufficient to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity,” Karen Pearson, an assistant district attorney for Arapahoe County, said in court.

On Tuesday, prosecutors said they would announce whether they would seek the death penalty against Mr. Holmes at an April 1 hearing.

The judge set a four-week trial for the month of August. Given the delays so far in the case, that date may not hold.
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« Reply #172 on: March 27, 2013, 05:09:36 PM »

http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Colo-theater-shooting-suspect-offers-guilty-plea-4389331.php
Colo. theater shooting suspect offers guilty plea
March 27, 2013

DENVER (AP) — Lawyers for Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes said Wednesday he would plead guilty and serve the rest of his life in prison to avoid the death penalty.

The offer sets up a possible end to the case if prosecutors agree to a plea deal. They're set to announce Monday whether they'll seek capital punishment and wouldn't comment Wednesday on the filing, although defense attorneys said their offer hasn't been accepted.

"The prosecution at this time has not accepted that offer because it may choose to pursue the death penalty. Consequently, it appears the only impediment to a resolution of this case would be if the prosecution chooses to seek the death penalty. If the prosecution elects not to pursue the death penalty, it is Mr. Holmes' position that this case could be resolved April 1," defense lawyers wrote.

Prosecutors would likely consult with victims and their families before deciding whether to accept the offer. Holmes' lawyers said the case could end Monday if prosecutors accept.

Holmes' attorneys told a judge earlier this month they weren't ready to enter a plea in the case, and the judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
 ::snipping2::
The judge scheduled the trial to start Aug. 5, setting aside four weeks.

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« Reply #173 on: March 28, 2013, 09:54:34 PM »

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/21823212/prosecutors-not-ready-to-agree-to-holmes-plea
Prosecutors not ready to agree to Holmes plea
March 28, 2013

DENVER (AP) - Prosecutors in the Colorado theater shooting on Thursday rejected an offer from suspect James Holmes to plead guilty in exchange for avoiding the death penalty and accused defense lawyers of a serious breach of court rules by making the offer public.

In a scathing court document, prosecutors said the defense has repeatedly refused to give them the information they need to evaluate the plea offer, so the offer can't be considered genuine.

No plea agreement exists, prosecutors said, and one "is extremely unlikely based on the present information available to the prosecution."

They also said anyone reading news stories about the offer would inevitably conclude "the defendant knows that he is guilty, the defense attorneys know that he is guilty, and that both of them know that he was not criminally insane."
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« Reply #174 on: April 01, 2013, 12:29:49 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/01/justice/colorado-theater-shooting-prosecution/index.html
Prosecution pushes death penalty for Colorado theater shooting suspect
April 1, 2013

Centennial, Colorado (CNN) -- Prosecutors said Monday they will seek the death penalty for Colorado movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes despite his offer last week to plead guilty in exchange for avoiding a death sentence.
"It is my determination and my intention that in this case for James Eagan Holmes, justice is death," Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said.
Before reaching the decision, the district attorney said he spoke directly with dozens of victims' family members.
 ::snipping2::
Last week defense attorneys filed documents saying Holmes had offered to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life behind bars in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
Prosecutors took the defense to task for publicly offering it, saying they hadn't been given enough information to even consider such a deal.
"Not only improper, but grossly improper," prosecutors said in a Thursday court filing. "For the intended purpose of generating predictable publicity."
Holmes faces 166 counts of murder and attempted murder for last year's shooting at an Aurora movie theater that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.
Attorneys on both sides are under a gag order, leaving case watchers to divine tactics from court documents.
"Prior to arraignment, Mr. Holmes made an offer to the prosecution to resolve this case by pleading guilty and spending the rest of his life in prison, without any opportunity for parole," the documents filed by the defense team read.
Last month, a judge entered a standard plea of not guilty for Holmes, who is accused in the July 20 shooting.
In the documents filed Wednesday, his attorneys said they were still exploring a mental health defense, "and counsel will vigorously present and argue any and all appropriate defenses at a trial or sentencing proceeding, as necessary."
Federal agents have said the former University of Colorado doctoral student planned the attack for months.
 ::snipping2::
Holmes' trial date has been set for August 5.
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« Reply #175 on: April 21, 2013, 11:46:47 AM »

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/04/19/prosecutors-make-case-for-death-penalty-in-james-holmes-case/
Prosecutors Make Case For Death Penalty In James Holmes Case
April 19, 2013

DENVER (AP) – Prosecutors in the deadly Colorado theater shootings said Friday that if suspect James Holmes is convicted, they will argue he should be executed because one of the victims was a child and because the attack was an ambush.

Prosecutors filed a court document listing aggravating factors they plan to raise in a possible death penalty phase of the trial.

Holmes is charged with more than 160 counts, including murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors say he spent months buying guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, donned police-style body armor and opened fire in a crowded Aurora theater during a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie on July 20. Twelve people were killed and 70 injured.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

One of the aggravating factors prosecutors listed Friday is the death of 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, the youngest of dead. Another says the slayings were “especially heinous, cruel or depraved.”

The other factors suggest Holmes acted with malice and “extreme indifference to the value of human life” and accuse him of knowingly putting other people at risk.

Prosecutors said they could add to the list. They also said they might ask to use audio and video recordings of Holmes with other people in the Arapahoe County jail as evidence.


Also Friday, defense lawyers suggested again that they might challenge the constitutionality of state laws on the death penalty and insanity pleas.

Holmes’ attorneys said in a written motion that overlapping elements of the laws could violate Holmes’ protection against self-incrimination, his right to present evidence in his own defense, and other provisions of the U.S. and state constitutions.

Holmes’ lawyers tried to raise their constitutionality questions in March, but Judge William Sylvester refused to consider them. Prosecutors had not yet said whether they would ask for the death penalty, so Sylvester said questions about the laws were only speculative at the time.

Holmes was widely expected to enter an insanity plea but so far has not.
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« Reply #176 on: April 21, 2013, 11:51:11 AM »

http://abcnews.go.com/US/aurora-shooting-james-holmes-prosecutors-jail-video-audio/story?id=19007316
James Holmes' Prosecutors Want to Use Jail Video and Audio at Trial
April 20, 2013

The prosecution seeking the death penalty against James Holmes in the Aurora theater shooting case wants to see what he's been doing in jail so that they can possibly use it against him during the penalty phase of trial if he is found guilty by a jury.

In a new notice filed Friday in Arapahoe District Court, District Attorney George Brauchler made a list of evidence he wants to see in order to establish a capital murder case, including "any video or audio recording of the defendant and/or any person he interacts with while incarcerated."

Former Colorado prosecutor Bob Grant says asking for jailhouse recordings is an excellent way to catch an inmate off-guard. "Every jail phone has big sign right there on the wall and the prisoners all sign a document that 'This phone is monitored' and it doesn't make a darn bit of difference. They say the most incriminating stuff," said Grant, a former district attorney for Adams County.

Grant, the last district attorney to successfully prosecute a death penalty case in Colorado, added, "I don't doubt that in some of those recordings the prosecutor is looking for something to establish state of mind. If he's (Holmes) making sense like a common man would make, then it would help them to disprove insanity."

There were 74 types of evidence requested in the motion, including cell site data from Holmes' cellular phone, 911 calls "related to disturbance complaints" the day before and of the murders, and spent shell casings collected from the Byers Canyon Rifle Range.

It's the first time law enforcement has publicly mentioned that the shooter may have used the range for target practice.
 ::snipping2::

Holmes' trial is scheduled to begin in February 2014.
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« Reply #177 on: May 01, 2013, 12:47:17 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-james-holmes-defense-20130429,0,6093687.story
Theater rampage: Holmes' lawyers object to Colorado insanity law
April 29, 2013

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Defense attorneys for accused movie theater gunman James E. Holmes renewed their objections Monday to the constitutionality of the state’s insanity defense, giving another hint about how they hope to save their client’s life.

Holmes is accused of opening fire in a packed Aurora theater on July 20, killing 12 people and wounding 70 others. He is charged with 166 counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons charges.

Dist. Atty. George Brauchler announced April 1 that his office would seek the death penalty.

But Homes cannot be put to death if he is found not guilty by reason of insanity or mental defect.

For months, the defense has seemed to be moving toward an insanity plea but has not entered it. Holmes’ lawyers said Monday that their client "suffers from a serious mental illness."

On March 12, Chief District Judge William Sylvester entered a traditional not guilty plea on Holmes’ behalf when the defense said it was not ready to enter a plea.

Defense attorneys have previously argued unsuccessfully that by entering an insanity plea and forcing Holmes to undergo state-ordered psychiatric evaluations, his constitutional rights could be jeopardized. The defense said if Holmes was forced to cooperate during the evaluation, what he said could be used against him in violation of his right against self-incrimination.

Yet if he did not cooperate, that too could be used against him at trial or sentencing and could prevent his attorneys from introducing expert testimony about Holmes' mental state, the defense said.

Sylvester discarded those arguments at the time, saying Colorado laws on insanity defense had already been upheld. But because the prosecution had not yet announced that it was seeking the death penalty, the judge left the door open to revisit the issue in the context of a capital case. Since then, Sylvester has stepped aside from the case and been replaced by District Judge Carlos Samour Jr.

On Monday, the defense said the time to take up the constitutional issues had arrived, especially because their client’s life hangs in the balance.
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« Reply #178 on: May 07, 2013, 07:22:06 PM »

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57583349/colo-movie-theater-shooting-suspect-to-enter-insanity-plea/
Colo. movie theater shooting suspect to enter insanity plea
May 7, 2013

DENVER The man accused in the deadly Colorado theater shootings wants to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity, his lawyers said Tuesday.

Attorneys for James Holmes said in a court filing they plan to formally ask for the change of plea at a May 13 hearing.
The insanity plea was widely expected given the compelling evidence against Holmes, who is accused of opening fire July 20 in a crowded theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora. Twelve people were killed and 70 injured.

But his lawyers delayed entering an insanity plea for weeks, saying Colorado's insanity and death penalty laws overlapped in a way that could severely — and unconstitutionally — hamper his defense if he did plead insanity.
The defense has asked both judges who have presided over the case to rule on the constitutionality of the laws. Both judges refused, saying the question was speculative because Holmes hadn't entered an insanity plea. That left Holmes' lawyers with no choice but to enter the insanity plea, then seek a ruling on the constitutionality question.

Holmes, 25, is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.

A judge in the case previously entered a standard not guilty plea for him. If a judge accepts the new plea, Holmes would be sent to the state mental hospital, where doctors would determine whether he was insane at the time of the shootings.

If the doctors do determine that Holmes was insane, a jury could still find him guilty.

Colorado law defines insanity as the inability to distinguish right from wrong, caused by a diseased or defective mind. The law specifically excludes depravity, "moral obliquity" or passion caused by anger or hatred from being considered insanity.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. They declined to comment Tuesday.
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« Reply #179 on: May 13, 2013, 05:11:31 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/us/james-holmes-aurora-shooting-suspect-enters-insanity-plea.html?_r=0
Mental Evaluations Endorse Insanity Plea in Colorado Shootings, Defense Says
May 13, 2013


CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Mental health experts who evaluated the 25-year-old man accused of killing 12 people in a Colorado movie theater last year have offered a diagnosis that bolsters an insanity plea in the case, his lawyers said in a hearing here on Monday.

“We now have a diagnosis that’s complete,” Daniel King, a defense lawyer for the suspect, James E. Holmes, said in court. “We now have an opinion by qualified professionals.”
 
Mr. Holmes’s lawyers made a long-expected move on Monday to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity. At an arraignment in March, a judge entered a straightforward not guilty plea on Mr. Holmes’s behalf after his lawyers said they were not ready to enter a plea.

An insanity plea would mean that the case against Mr. Holmes — and questions of whether he should be put to death if he is convicted — will rest largely on his mind-set on the night of the shooting.

Defense lawyers have alluded several times in court that Mr. Holmes is mentally ill, but they have not provided details. A gag order that has been in place for months has prevented both sides from discussing the case outside of court.

Mr. Holmes had seen a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado Denver before the shootings, and she had warned the campus police that Mr. Holmes had threatened her and had made homicidal statements. Weeks before his rampage, Mr. Holmes also sent a text message to a classmate asking about “manic dysphoria” — a psychiatric condition that combines the symptoms of mania and depression — and warning her to stay away from him because he was “bad news.”

Prosecutors and the police have characterized Mr. Holmes’s actions as methodical and deliberate. They say that he spent weeks assembling an arsenal of guns, ammunition and explosives and that he scouted the theater, the Century 16 multiplex, weeks in advance, taking photographs of the exterior and an inside door jamb. They said he laid explosive booby traps at his Aurora apartment designed to kill or maim anyone who came looking for him.

The judge in the case, Carlos A. Samour Jr., said Monday there was good cause for Mr. Holmes to change his plea, but he stopped short of allowing it. Mr. Holmes’s lawyers have raised questions about a thicket of issues regarding the legal implications of the court-ordered examinations that Mr. Holmes will have to undergo to pursue an insanity defense. Those disputes have to be resolved first.

The judge is expected to formally accept Mr. Holmes’s insanity plea later this month.
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