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Judge Delays Trial In Colorado Massacre Case

By Keith Coffman | Reuters

The judge presiding over the Colorado cinema massacre case on Monday delayed the murder trial of accused gunman James Holmes by six weeks to January, but denied a request by defense lawyers for a lengthier postponement.

Holmes, 26, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to criminal wrongdoing linked to the shooting deaths of 12 moviegoers inside a suburban Denver movie theater during a midnight viewing of a Batman film in July 2012.

His lawyers have conceded the former neuroscience graduate student was the lone shooter in the attack, in which dozens of people were wounded, but said he was in the throes of a psychotic episode at the time.

Issues surrounding two psychiatric evaluations of Holmes have caused several scheduled trial dates to be pushed back, and his lawyers asked for more time to analyze the results of the second round of psychological testing, completed two weeks ago.

Prosecutors said the request was reasonable, and did not oppose a brief delay.

Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour agreed on Monday to move the start of jury selection from early December to Jan. 20, and said attorneys for both sides should be prepared to present opening statements on June 3.

Holmes has been charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder, and prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for the southern California native if he is convicted.

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Background Photo Credit: Kasia Broussalian © 2015