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.
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 5 Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
How China's richest man Li Hejun lost $15bn in an hour - and made a fortune
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...