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Lawyers for accused Colorado shooter not ready to enter plea

Attorneys for James Holmes, accused of killing a dozen people last summer in a suburban Denver movie theater, say they won't be ready to enter a plea due to the large number of charges against their client.


This courtroom sketch shows accused shooter James Holmes being escorted by a deputy as he arrives at preliminary hearing in district court in Centennial, Colo., earlier this week.

Bill Robles/AP

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Accused movie theater gunman James Holmes has been ordered to stand trial on charges he shot 12 people to death and wounded dozens more at a midnight screening of a Batman film last summer, but he is unlikely to enter a plea at a Friday court appearance.

His lawyers informed Colorado state court Judge William Sylvester on Thursday that they were not ready to proceed to an arraignment of their client on the scores of criminal counts leveled against the 25-year-old former graduate student.

Sylvester ruled a short time later that evidence presented by prosecutors during a three-day preliminary hearing this week had established probable cause to believe that Holmes committed the crimes, and ordered him bound over for trial on all counts.

The judge said Holmes, described by his own lawyers as suffering from an unspecified mental illness, should remain held without bail and indicated he would grant a postponement for Holmes' arraignment.

The ruling followed three days of wrenching testimony about the shooting, its bloody aftermath and the elaborate preparations that Holmes is accused of making for the attack.

Some legal experts say the proceedings left Holmes' lawyers little choice but to mount an insanity defense for their client.

"The defense team has nowhere else to go given the obvious premeditation and overwhelming evidence against Holmes," said Craig Silverman, a former Denver prosecutor now in private practice as a trial attorney.


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