Trial in Colorado theater shootings delayed

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Trial in Colorado theater shootings delayed
FILE - This June 4, 2013 file photo shows Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes in court in Centennial, Colo. Prosecutors in the Colorado theater shooting case are hinting they might want to search for additional evidence or look for more documents, although they aren't publicly saying why. In a motion filed Friday and released Monday, April 28, 2014, prosecutors asked the judge to keep secret any future requests they might make for search warrants or for court orders to produce records. Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder in the 2012 attack on a suburban Denver movie theater, which killed 12 people and injured 70. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. His trial is scheduled to start in October. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool, File)
Lonnie Phillips, right, and his wife Sanday, who's daughter Jessica Ghawi was killed in the 2012 Aurora movie theatre massacre, speak at a rally against gun violence in front of Republican Congressman Mike Coffman's office, in Aurora, Colo., Wednesday April 23, 2014. The Phillips and other parents of Aurora theater shooting victims urged Coffman to support universal background checks in Congress. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Tom Sullivan, who's son Alex was killed in the 2012 Aurora movie theatre massacre, speaks at a rally against gun violence in front of Republican Congressman Mike Coffman's office, in Aurora, Colo., Wednesday April 23, 2014. Sullivan and other parents of Aurora theater shooting victims urged Coffman to support universal background checks in Congress. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
In this Jan. 30, 2014 photo, Tom Sullivan, the father of Aurora movie theater attack victim Alex Sullivan, listens as Colorado House Worship Center Pastor Del Phillips speaks to members of the media during a news conference at which members of the local faith community urged civility in the upcoming debate over new gun laws, at the Colorado State Capitol, in Denver. Expanded background checks for firearm sales in Colorado were passed by Democrats last year at a political cost. Now the law is up for repeal Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 with a Republican bill as the intense debate over gun control continues in an election year. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Attorney Daniel King, of the defense team, arrives at district court in Centennial, Colo., Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, for a status hearing regarding Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes. Holmes will return to court in late January for a hearing on prosecutors' request that he undergo additional psychiatric examination. The hearing was to take place this week, but the judge postponed it after saying the prosecution had made contradictory statements about its request. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - MAY 30: Defense attorney for James Holmes, Tamara Brady, right, leaves a courtroom at the Arapahoe County Justice Center after a motion hearing involving particular procedures during jury selection at the Arapahoe County Justice Center, Thursday morning, May 29, 2014 for the upcoming trial of Homes, who is accused of killing 12 people and injuring over 70 people in a mass shooting at an Aurora Colorado movie theater July 20, 2012. (Photo By Andy Cross / The Denver Post)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 2, 2014: Tom Sullivan, father of Alex Sullivan, who was killed in the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre mass shooting in 2012, talks about his son during a gun control rally outside the National Shooting Sports Foundation's annual Congressional Fly-In fundraising dinner April 2, 2014, in Washington, DC. Demonstrators protested against what they call the corporate gun lobby's obstruction of sensible gun laws such as expanded background checks. (Photo by Rod Lamkey/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 20: Stephanie Wacker, 18, attends a remembrance ceremony July 20, 2013 in Aurora, Colorado. The ceremony marks the one one-year anniversary of the Aurora Movie Theatre Shootings in which James Holmes killed 12 people and injured more than 50 during a mass shooting in 2012. (Photo by Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 19: Morners hug and grieve over the loss of friends and family at a memorial for the victims of the 2012 Aurora mass shooting held at Cherry Creek State Park July 19, 2013 in Aurora, Colorado. James Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and injuring more than 50 at a movie theater on July 20, 2012. (Photo by Tom Cooper/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 19: Bill Davis of Highland Ranch, Colorado displays a protest sign during a remembrance ceremony at Cherry Creek State Park July 19, 2013 in Aurora, Colorado. James Holmes killed 12 people and injured more than 50 during a mass shooting in a movie theater on July 20, 2012. (Photo by Tom Cooper/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 19: Jane Dougherty and Carlee Soto read the names of victims at a remembrance ceremony at Cherry Creek State Park July 19, 2013 in Aurora, Colorado. Dougherty's sister, Mary Sherlach, was killed during the Newton mass shooting and Soto's sister, Victoria, was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary. James Holmes killed 12 people and injured more than 50 during a mass shooting in a movie theater on July 20, 2012. (Photo by Tom Cooper/Getty Images)
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By DAN ELLIOTT

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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