Judge enters plea for Batman attack

2013-03-12 21:47
This courtroom sketch shows James Holmes being escorted by a deputy as he arrives at preliminary hearing in district court in Centennial, Colorado. (Picture: AP)

This courtroom sketch shows James Holmes being escorted by a deputy as he arrives at preliminary hearing in district court in Centennial, Colorado. (Picture: AP)

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Centennial - A US judge entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of alleged Aurora theatre gunman James Holmes on Tuesday, after his lawyers said they were not ready to enter a plea.

The judge left it open for lawyers for the 25-year-old to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity at a later date, at Holmes's arraignment for the killing of 12 people in the Colorado town of Aurora last July.

Judge William Sylvester set a trial date for 5 August.

Defence attorney Daniel King said he would be ready to make a plea by 1 May or 1 June.

Prosecutors objected and said they had waited long enough, to which the judge agreed and entered a standard not guilty plea.

Holmes is accused over the 20 July massacre at a midnight screening of the Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, which revived America's perennial debate about gun control.

Witnesses said Holmes threw smoke bomb-type devices before opening fire randomly with weapons, including an AR-15 military-style rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a .40-caliber pistol.

Holmes' arraignment had initially been scheduled for January, but the judge agreed at that time to delay it, triggering anger from some of the victims' relatives.

Read more on:    james holmes  |  us  |  us cinema attack  |  gun control
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