UK & World News

  • 11 January 2013, 19:18

Batman Cinema Shootings: Hearing Delayed

A judge has delayed the arraignment of suspected gunman James Holmes until March, as his lawyers had requested.

Judge William Sylvester granted the defence motion on Friday, setting the date of the new arraignment as March 12. The hearing, where Holmes will have to enter a plea, had been scheduled for Friday.

The decision came a day after he ruled that Holmes should stand trial in the shooting. He is accused of killing 12 people and injuring dozens more in a July massacre during the midnight premiere of the Dark Knight Rises film outside of Denver.

Holmes' attorneys did not give a reason for requesting the delay, but may want to use the time to seek a mental health evaluation by a doctor of their choosing

They have said their client is mentally ill, possibly indicating they will mount an insanity defence. 

The 25-year-old has been charged with a total of 166 offences. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

During this week's preliminary hearing prosecution witnesses said Holmes' demeanour was calm the night he was arrested, and described the carnage of the shooting scene. 

Other witnesses testified Holmes put months of preparation into planning the attack, stockpiling weapons and intricately booby trapping his apartment with homemade napalm.

A promising neuroscience student, Holmes had begun to see a university psychiatrist and then dropped out of his course shortly before the attack.

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