James Holmes's second sanity evaluation can be videotaped, judge rules

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Andy Cross/Denver Post
James Holmes in court in June 2013.
The psychiatrist tasked with evaluating Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes to determine if he was insane at the time of the crime will be allowed to videotape the examination, according to a recent ruling by Judge Carlos Samour (on view below).

See also: What happens when accused killers plead insanity?

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James Holmes trial now scheduled to begin December 8

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Andy Cross/Denver Post
James Holmes and defense attorney Daniel King in court in June 2013.
The trial of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes is now scheduled to begin on December 8. Judge Carlos Samour set that date at a hearing today over objections from Holmes's attorneys, who argued that it wouldn't give them enough time to analyze a second sanity evaluation of Holmes that's due by October 15. "If we have to adjust, we'll do it," Samour said -- though he insisted on keeping the December trial date.

Also discussed at today's hearing was whether the psychiatrist tasked with completing that second sanity evaluation should be allowed to videotape the exam.

See also: James Holmes videotaped 24 hours a day, seven days a week since his arrest, letter says

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James Holmes videotaped 24 hours a day, seven days a week since his arrest, letter says

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Andy Cross/Denver Post
James Holmes in court in June 2013.
Aurora theater shooting gunman James Holmes has been videotaped 24 hours a day, seven days a week since he was detained, according to a letter from the psychiatrist appointed to perform Holmes's second sanity evaluation (on view below). Holmes was arrested on July 20, 2012 in the parking lot of the Aurora Century 16 theater, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting that left twelve people dead and seventy wounded.

See also: James Holmes case: Death penalty foe Bob Autobee's letter to victims stirs controversy

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Aurora theater shooting: Second anniversary to be remembered with beer festival, other events

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Alex Teves at the Copper Kettle Brewing Company.
When Kristen Kozik, who owns the Copper Kettle Brewing Company with her husband, first heard about the horrific shooting at the Aurora Century 16 theater on July 20, 2012, she never imagined she'd know someone involved. It wasn't until the authorities released a list of the twelve people killed that she realized that one of the brewery's regular customers, 24-year-old Alex Teves, was among those who had died.

"As soon as we found out, we wanted to do something for his family," Kozik says. It's a tradition they've kept up -- and this year, on the second anniversary of the shooting, Copper Kettle will host "A Night to Remember," a beer festival in Alex's honor.

See also: Aurora theater shooting families join call for national protocol to streamline donations

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James Holmes case: Death penalty foe Bob Autobee's letter to victims stirs controversy

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Bob Autobee facing reporters after Edward Montour's guilty plea.
Does the father of a victim in one death-penalty case have the right to contact family members in another capital case? And, under Colorado law, do prosecutors have any obligation to facilitate that conversation -- even if the discussion isn't going to help their cause?

The questions are key to a new controversy in the case of accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes.

See also: James Holmes's attorneys say prosecutors are discouraging victims from talking to them

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James Holmes trial postponed again, new date pending

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Andy Cross/Denver Post
James Holmes in court in June 2013.
The trial of Aurora theater shooting gunman James Holmes will be postponed again.

Jury selection for Holmes's trial was scheduled to begin on October 14. However, the examiner tasked with conducting a second sanity evaluation of Holmes has requested more time to complete that examination. Instead of an August 15 deadline, the examiner has asked to submit his report by October 15 -- a request that Judge Carlos Samour writes in an order he "has little choice but to grant."

See also: James Holmes case: Read letters that his defense team sent to victims

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James Holmes case: Read letters that his defense team sent to victims

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Andy Cross/Denver Post
Prosecutors in the Aurora theater shooting case deny that they are discouraging victims from talking to lawyers for gunman James Holmes. In a recent motion (on view below), they claim they've told victims they're free to speak with Holmes's lawyers if they choose -- though they add that some victims have balked at the defense's attempts to contact them. Prosecutors say several victims have become upset by such contacts and have asked them to intervene in order to stop Holmes's defense team from sending them letters. But prosecutors say it's not their place to do so.

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James Holmes's attorneys say prosecutors are discouraging victims from talking to them

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Andy Cross/Denver Post
James Holmes's attorneys are accusing state prosecutors of discouraging Aurora theater shooting victims from talking to them, according to a motion filed this week (and on view below). They argue that prosecutor Lisa Teesch-Maguire sent an e-mail to victims with the message that efforts by Holmes's attorneys to contact them have been in order "to manipulate, trick and lie" to them -- and that Holmes's defense team isn't to be trusted.

The e-mail warns victims that they may be contacted by a woman whose "goal is to try and find Victims who will help the Defendant" -- a statement Holmes's attorneys say is untrue.

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James Holmes trial jury selection will be open to the public and media, judge rules

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Andy Cross/Denver Post
James Holmes in court in June 2013.
The public, and the media, will be allowed to attend jury selection in the trial of accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes. Attorneys in the case requested that the proceedings be closed to the public, but Judge Carlos Samour ruled this week that the selection process will be open. It is scheduled to begin in October.

"Sunshine, not darkness, is the appropriate disinfectant here," Samour wrote.

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James Holmes hearing: Jury selection could take months

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Andy Cross/Denver Post
James Holmes in court in June 2013.
If you live in Arapahoe County, there is a .01 percent chance you will be called for jury selection in the case of accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes -- odds far greater than winning the Colorado Powerball. Approximately 6,000 possible jurors will be summoned, the judge in the case said -- and of those, 24 will be chosen.

At a court hearing Thursday, attorneys discussed the logistics of that selection process.

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