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Trial in Colorado theater shootings delayed


DENVER (AP) - The trial in the Colorado theater shootings was delayed again Wednesday because the second sanity evaluation of defendant James Holmes will take more time than expected.

The trial had been scheduled to start with jury selection on Oct. 14. Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. didn't immediately set a new date.

A report on the evaluation had been due Aug. 15, but the state mental hospital said it would need until Oct. 15, one day after jury selection was to begin.

Samour said he had little choice but to grant the extension.

He said he would set a new trial date at hearing on July 22, which will be two years and two days after the shootings.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 20, 2012, attack in the Denver suburb of Aurora. More than 400 people were watching a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" at the time.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

It's the third time Holmes' trial has been pushed back. The first date, in August 2013, was canceled after prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty, raising numerous issues that had to be resolved before trial. The second, in February of this year, was scratched after prosecutors asked for the second sanity evaluation.

A sanity evaluation by the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo is mandatory under state law for anyone who pleads insanity.

The first evaluation was done last year. The key finding - whether Holmes was insane at the time of the shootings - hasn't been made public, but prosecutors objected to the report, saying the doctor who conducted it was biased.

After a hearing that was closed to the public and the news media, Samour ruled the first evaluation was inadequate and ordered the new one.

Under Colorado law, the trial jury will determine whether Holmes was legally insane, defined as unable to tell right from wrong because of a mental disease or defect. The state hospital's sanity evaluation will be a pivotal piece of evidence in that decision, but it isn't clear whether both examinations will be introduced.

Holmes' lawyers have acknowledged he was the shooter but say he was in the grips of a psychotic episode.

Samour's order postponing the trial also disclosed that the person who will re-evaluate Holmes plans to videotape the examination. The examiner said that is his routine practice, and he offered to withhold the videotape from prosecutors and the defense if Samour ordered him to.

Samour didn't issue an order, saying neither side has requested one.

The new examiner was chosen by the state hospital. The examiner's name and credentials haven't been made public, but Samour has said he doesn't live in Colorado.

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rude July 09 2014 at 9:08 PM

More red tape bull crap that our no-balls judges allow to continually undermine our judicial system. This punk should have been fried by now.

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1 reply
filmwinder rude July 10 2014 at 1:11 AM

not with hickenlooper in charge.

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Iselin007 July 09 2014 at 9:16 PM

This is the kind of ridiculous crap the American people are tired of. The suspect should of never walked away from the theater.

It's like the system is trying to make work for it's self so they can get that big fat pension while the rest of America doesn't know if they'll have jobs or a roof over their heads tomorrow.

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2 replies
bedbugtoo Iselin007 July 10 2014 at 1:04 AM

If it happened Germany he wouldn't have left the theater area. End of story, in US lawyers would turn it around if he was killed on scene and they and the state would be sued!

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DJ Iselin007 July 10 2014 at 1:21 AM

You nailed it. It's all about the mighty $. Trials take forever because the more time wasted the more $ they get. Our legal system is basically a revolving door money maker for judges and lawyers. Justice went out the window decades ago. Now it's the biggest wallet wins.

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rhm1899 July 09 2014 at 7:52 PM

Due process and then the last choice of his natural life...Death by hanging or the firing squad. Which ever he chose would be on the town square. He most certainly would be sane enough to know that he was about to die and piss himself!!!

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Jorge July 09 2014 at 10:20 PM

Are all the people in Colorado high on pot these days?

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Scooby July 09 2014 at 8:52 PM

Look, honestly ANY person who goes into a theater and shoots a bunch of people has severe mental issues. ANY person who can take a life without care, has mental issues. Trying to prove that someone didn't have mental issues would be the more laborious task. In other words, quit wasting your time and try this POS. He must face what he has done, insane or not. Unless he has a very very slow mental growth rate and has the self awareness of a 4yr old, to me his mental state when killing those people is irrelevant. He is competent to be tried, then get on with it.

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1 reply
Iselin007 Scooby July 09 2014 at 9:20 PM

Lucky suspect. If they still had those large Mental Hospitals they had years ago, this punk would of been left to rot.

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garyep59 July 10 2014 at 1:01 AM

He knew exactly what he was doing! If not, then he wouldn't have done what he did. When you take a life of another human being without cause, then you must forfeit your own life. If he is found guilty, then he should be put to death. No ifs, ands, or buts. And no appeal should be possible! He's playing insanity, but is very sane. No question about it. He wont suffer by lethal injection.

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Carol July 09 2014 at 7:41 PM

Yet none of his family or friends noticed he was insane BEFORE he went on a shooting spree? And..... if they did, they were what? Just too busy to deal with it?

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1 reply
kent_hern Carol July 09 2014 at 11:23 PM

My loner cousin looks just like him, except for the orange hair, his is blue. Like guns, hates women.
Dear Carol, who should I report that to?

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2 replies
buddwhyzr kent_hern July 10 2014 at 2:53 AM


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Carol kent_hern July 10 2014 at 10:52 AM

kent - It's not about some ones looks, likes, and dislikes. It's about mental stability. Pretty sure that you're just being "cute", but on the outside chance that your serious, call the department of social and health services and see what help is available in your State.

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ram4131 July 10 2014 at 2:47 AM

His defense attorney admits he's guilty, however (and here's where the law degree comes in) poor kid was in the "grips" of a psychotic episode.
That should be understandable to the families of the slaughtered, right?

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jt2 July 10 2014 at 12:38 AM

Sadly, a case like this becomes more about the the person who commits the crime than about the savagery of their actions. Or the people who are slaughtered. Or the families that are torn apart. Small wonder many of us have little respect for attorneys and judges.

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Mike July 10 2014 at 3:18 AM

What a disgusting system we have run by dog **** lawyers and gutless judges....26 MONTHS and nothing has happened yet....pathetic!

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