Lawyers: Colo shooting suspect can’t go to hearing
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) – A court hearing for the man charged with the Colorado movie theater killings has been postponed after his attorneys said Wednesday that he had been taken to a hospital for unspecified reasons.
Court documents filed Wednesday gave no details of James E. Holmes’ condition, other than that it “renders him unable to be present in court for (Thursday’s) hearing.” The hearing had been scheduled to discuss pretrial motions and media requests for information under state open records laws.
At a hearing Wednesday on defense attorneys’ request to delay the court date, defense attorney Tamara Brady said Holmes was taken to a hospital Tuesday. She didn’t say where or offer details on why, saying attorneys don’t want to disclose privileged medical or psychiatric information.
“It’s not as simple as a migraine, and it’s not something that will resolve by tomorrow morning,” she said.
Arapahoe County District Judge William B. Sylvester said that was sufficient information for him and postponed the Thursday hearing until Dec. 10.
Prosecutor Rich Orman had objected, saying the defense should be required to give more information on Holmes’ condition first.
Holmes didn’t attend the emergency hearing.
Denver media outlets, citing unnamed sources, reported Holmes had injured himself by hitting his head, apparently intentionally, on a jail cell wall. The Arapahoe County undersheriff wouldn’t comment on the reports.
The 24-year-old Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and injuring at least 58 by opening fire in a crowded theater on July 20. A midnight showing of the latest Batman movie was under way at the time.
He’s being held without bail and hasn’t entered a plea.
The defense said Holmes has a constitutional right to be present at all hearings in his case and argued the Thursday hearing had to be postponed if he is unable to attend.
His mental health has been an issue in the case since shortly after the shootings. His lawyers told the judge in early August, about three weeks after the shootings, that Holmes was mentally ill. They have not said whether he would enter an insanity plea.
Holmes has appeared alternately dazed and alert in previous court appearances. Attorneys have not said whether he is under medication.
He had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shootings.
STEVEN K. PAULSON
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