Photos: James Holmes allowed to plead not guilty by reason of insanity
James Holmes, accused of killing twelve people and wounding seventy at a July 2012 screening of The Dark Knight Rises at an Aurora theater, has been allowed to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
Andy Cross/Denver Post More photos below.
Judge William Sylvester had previously entered a plea of not guilty on Holmes's behalf. At a hearing today, Judge Carlos Samour, who replaced Sylvester in the case earlier this year, granted Holmes permission to change the plea and pursue an insanity defense.
As we've reported, a hearing in late May dealt with a single question: If Holmes, who had indicated that he'd like to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, did not cooperate with a court-ordered mental examination, should he be allowed to call his own expert witnesses to testify about his mental condition at the sentencing hearing in his case?
Holmes's defense attorneys said "yes" and argued that Colorado's insanity-plea laws were unconstitutional. Days later, however, Judge Samour ruled in favor of the laws' constitutionality. That decision set the stage for today's hearing, in which Samour read Holmes an advisement intended to explain to him "the effect and consequences" of entering an insanity plea.
Wearing a red jumpsuit, Holmes, distinguished by a bushy beard and slicked-back hair, had a copy of the advisement and appeared to be following along as Judge Samour read it aloud. Defense attorney Daniel King turned the pages for him, since he was shackled.
Andy Cross/Denver Post James Holmes looks at the advisement as Judge Carlos Samour reads it aloud.
The entire advisement is on view below, but here's an excerpt -- the applicable test for determining insanity:
Continue for more about today's hearing in the Aurora theater shooting case, including more photos and a document.