Batman killing case in court

2013-01-07 17:50
James Holmes (Picture: AP)

James Holmes (Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Centennial - Prosecutors are in court on Monday to outline their case against the young US man suspected of shooting 12 people dead at a midnight premiere of the latest Batman film.

The hearing, the first extensive public disclosure of the attack's details, will determine whether the case will go to trial.

James Holmes is charged with more than 160 counts in the Colorado attack, including murder and attempted murder.

Investigators say he was wearing body armour and a gas mask when he tossed two gas canisters and opened fire in the cinema on 20 July.

In addition to the 12 dead, 70 were wounded.

Many survivors and family members of the dead were expected to attend the hearing.

Details of the case have been kept quiet. Three days after the shooting, District Judge William Sylvester forbade attorneys and investigators from discussing the case publicly, and many court documents have been filed under seal.

Police say Holmes, now 25, had stockpiled weapons, ammunition, explosives and body armour.

He was a first-year student in a PhD neuroscience programme at the University of Colorado, Denver, but he failed a year-end exam and withdrew, authorities have said.

The shootings came six weeks later.

Federal authorities have said Holmes entered the cinema with a ticket and is believed to have propped open a door, slipped out to his car and returned with his weapons. Police arrested him outside the theatre shortly after the shootings ended.

Legal analysts said on Monday's hearing could set the stage for a negotiated plea agreement by allowing each side to assess the other's strength.

Holmes' mental health could be a significant issue in the hearing.

His attorneys have told the judge Holmes is mentally ill, but they have not said whether they plan to employ an insanity defense.

He had seen a university psychiatrist, and his lawyers have said he tried to call the psychiatrist nine minutes before the killing began.

Defense lawyers have said they plan to call at least two witnesses who could testify about Holmes' mental health. Prosecutors asked the judge to block the witnesses, but he refused.

Lawyers have been debating what physical evidence should be made available, whether a psychiatrist who met with Holmes is barred from testimony by doctor-patient privilege and other issues.

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

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.