Accused Denver cinema shooter, James Holmes, will plead not guilty by reason of insanity
James Holmes, the former PhD-student accused of killing 12 people in Colorado when he opened fire in a cinema during a midnight screening of Batman, intends to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, his lawyers have said.
Lawyers acting for the 25-year-old said they would ask for the change of plea at a hearing scheduled next Monday.
If the judge accepts the new plea, Mr Holmes is likely to be moved to a psychiatric hospital where doctors will determine whether he was insane at the time of the attack. A jury could still find him guilty despite a medical finding of insanity.
Colorado law defines insanity as the inability to distinguish right from wrong, caused by a diseased or defective mind. Mr Holmes's lawyers have said at hearings and in court documents that they believe the former student is mentally ill. He was being seen by a psychiatrist before the shooting.
The trial had been scheduled for August, but a judge has pushed it back to February 2014. It was unclear if the new plea will further delay the case.
A judge previously entered a not guilty plea after the defence said Mr Holmes was not ready to plead. Prosecutors have previously said that they will seek the death penalty against the man accused of killing 12 and injuring 70 in a shooting spree at the Century Aurora 16 which spurred new gun control laws in Colorado. Earlier this year, prosecutors rejected an earlier offer from Mr Holmes's lawyers to plead guilty in order to avoid execution.
Mr Holmes is accused of stockpiling weapons and ammunition for his assault on a packed midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado on July 20 last year and booby-trapped his apartment to explode and distract any police who responded.
The attack was repeatedly cited by gun control advocates who pushed a hotly contested package through the Colorado state legislature. The bills, which include a ban on the sort of high-capacity magazines that Holmes allegedly sprayed dozens of bullets in a matter of seconds, will come into effect on July 1.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence referendum live: Latest news as Scotland decides Yes or No
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...