Lawyers for accused Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes said he is mentally ill, justifying a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. The judge said he would decide this month whether to accept the plea change.
James Holmes, accused of killing 12 people at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, sought Monday to change his plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity. A judge said there was “good cause” to allow the change but that he would not decide whether to accept the new plea until later in the month.
“Allowing Mr. Holmes to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity would be consistent with fairness and justice," Judge Carlos Samour announced to the packed courtroom.
In Colorado, a defendant must enter a plea at their arraignment, but may change it later if they can show strong reasoning for the switch. Mr. Holmes’ counsel said Monday that the change is warranted since they have now had time to consult with experts and obtain a diagnosis of mental illness for their client.
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