Judge accepts insanity plea in Colo. shooting case

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) -- A judge has accepted James' Holmes plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in the Colorado theater shootings.

Tuesday's decision sets the stage for a lengthy mental evaluation of Holmes, who is accused of fatally shooting 12 people and injuring 70 in a packed Denver-area movie theater in July.

The evaluation could take months. Holmes is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Holmes' lawyers repeatedly have said he is mentally ill, but they delayed the insanity plea while arguing that state laws were unconstitutional. They said the laws could hobble the defense if Holmes' case should ever reach the phase where the jury decides if he should be executed.

The judge rejected that argument last week.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

PROSECUTORS GRANTED NOTEBOOK

A judge says prosecutors can have access to a notebook Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes sent to a psychiatrist before last summer's rampage.

Judge Carlos Samour ruled Tuesday after accepting a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity from Holmes. He ordered the notebook to be turned over next week.

Media reports have said the notebook contains drawings depicting violence.

Defense lawyers argued psychiatrist Lynne Fenton never received the notebook so prosecutors shouldn't have access to it.

Prosecutors say police would like to do unspecified "additional processing" on the notebook.


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