Theater shooting suspect to get mental evaluation


CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — James Holmes, the former neuroscience graduate student accused of the deadly Colorado movie theater shootings, is headed to the state mental hospital for an evaluation of his sanity.

A judge accepted Holmes' long-awaited plea of not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday and ordered the mental evaluation, which is required by law.

But that won't begin until a mental-health professional at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo has a chance to review the evidence in the case, which prosecutors say now approaches 40,000 pages.

Holmes is charged with more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder in the July 20 rampage, which left 12 people dead and 70 injured in a bloody, bullet-riddled movie theater in suburban Denver. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

It's unclear when Holmes' evaluation will begin or how long it will take. Judge Carlos Samour Jr. set a tentative Aug. 2 deadline for the exam to be completed, but said he would push it back if hospital officials request more time. Samour indicated he still hopes to begin Holmes' trial in February.

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.