Aurora movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes expected to enter insanity plea Tuesday
Sketch of James Holmes in court 4-1-13. By Bill Robles.
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Last Updated: 188 days ago
CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The suspect in the Aurora movie theater shooting could enter his long-expected insanity plea, or the case could veer off on another tangent as his lawyers seek the strongest possible defense.
Holmes is charged with fatally shooting 12 people and injuring 70 in an attack during a midnight premiere of 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 20, 2012.
The judge has indicated he'll let James Holmes change his plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity at a hearing Tuesday.
Holmes' lawyers tendered the not guilty by reason of insanity plea, but the court hasn't accepted it yet because related several legal issues were being argued. District Court Judge Carlos Samour ruled on all of the objections last week, but in doing so offered to delay a hearing that was scheduled for Friday and allow attorneys to review his ruling.
When the court reconvenes Tuesday morning, the judge will advise Holmes' and his team about the consequences of the insanity plea.
That could include the use of "truth serum" during a polygraph test. If Holmes doesn't comply, his attorneys would be prevented from calling mental health witnesses at his trial and at his sentencing, should he be found guilty.
If the not guilty by reason of insanity plea is accepted, Samour has instructed the parties to be prepared to discuss a possible waiver of privilege about the notebook Holmes sent to his psychiatrist.
The Defense filed 89 motions before their deadline at the close of business Monday. Those documents are expected to be released Tuesday.
It's also possible that Holmes' lawyers could ask the state Supreme Court to hear their arguments that state laws on the insanity plea and the death penalty are unconstitutional.
That could delay the case even longer, depending on whether the justices decide to consider the matter.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.