Hearing set on more sanity exams for James Holmes
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) – Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes will return to court in late January for a hearing on prosecutors’ request that he undergo additional psychiatric examination.
The judge set the new date Wednesday. The hearing was to take place this week, but the judge postponed it after saying the prosecution had made contradictory statements about its request.
Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the 2012 attack. Holmes’ trial has been postponed indefinitely while attorneys argue over whether he should get further psychiatric evaluation.
He underwent a sanity evaluation in the summer but the findings haven’t been made public.
The hearing is now set to begin Jan. 27. It could last up to five days, including arguments on a separate defense motion to bar some trial testimony from crime scene reconstruction experts.
Holmes appeared in court Wednesday with disheveled hair and a fuzzy reddish beard. He said nothing.
Defense lawyers, meanwhile, said they haven’t decided whether to appeal a New York State Court of Appeals ruling that New York-based Fox News reporter Jana Winter doesn’t have to testify on a side issue in the case.
Citing anonymous sources, Winter reported last year that Holmes sent his psychiatrist a notebook containing violent images.
The defense said whoever spoke to Winter violated a gag order. They want Winter to identify her sources so they can be disciplined.
Because Winter is in New York, a Colorado subpoena ordering her to testify cannot be enforced without the approval of a court there. New York’s highest court ruled last week that New York’s shield law protects her from the subpoena.
Separately, another judge has agreed to consolidate a lawsuit filed by a shooting victim against the theater owner, Century Theatres, with 15 others suits against the company stemming from the shootings.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Denver by Stefan Moton, who suffered a spinal cord injury resulting in quadriplegia. The theater owner has said it couldn’t have foreseen the attack.
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