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.
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.
The former neuroscience doctoral student is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder stemming from the July 20 rampage at the opening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in the Denver suburb of Aurora.
In addition to the 12 people who died, 58 others were wounded by gunfire and a dozen more suffered other injuries.
The tragedy stands as one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history and one that ranked briefly as the most lethal in 2012 - until 20 children and six adults were killed last month at a Connecticut elementary school.