The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Nation & World

May 7, 2013

Colorado shootings suspect to enter insanity plea

DENVER — The man accused in the deadly Colorado theater shootings wants to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity, his lawyers said Tuesday.

Attorneys for James Holmes said in a court filing they plan to formally ask for the change of plea at a May 13 hearing.

A judge in the case previously entered a standard not guilty plea for the 25-year-old Holmes. If the judge accepts the new plea, Holmes would be sent to the state mental hospital, where doctors would determine whether he was insane at the time of the July 20 shootings.

If the doctors do determine that Holmes was insane, a jury could still find him guilty.

Colorado law defines insanity as the inability to distinguish right from wrong, caused by a diseased or defective mind. The law specifically excludes depravity, "moral obliquity" or passion caused by anger or hatred from being considered insanity.

The insanity plea was widely expected given the compelling evidence against Holmes. He is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Holmes' attorneys have said in court hearings and written in court documents that Holmes is mentally ill. He was being seen by a psychiatrist before the July 20 attack at a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie that killed 12 people and injured 70.

Prosecutors say Holmes spent months buying guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, donned police-style body armor and opened fire in the crowded theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

Holmes could be executed if he's convicted of more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder.

Last month, prosecutors filed a court document listing aggravating factors they plan to raise in a possible death penalty phase of the trial. The factors included the death of 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, the youngest of dead.

Prosecutors also said in the filing that the slayings were "especially heinous, cruel or depraved."

1
Text Only
Nation & World
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium