On Tuesday, attorneys representing Colorado movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes filed their intent to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Holmes is accused of launching a shooting spree on July 20, 2012, in a crowded movie theater that killed 12 people and injured dozens more in Aurora, Colorado.
Holmes is being charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder, and other crimes.
The judge overseeing the trial, Judge Carlos Samour, Jr., filed an order saying that Holmes and his team of attorneys must establish âgood causeâ to permit the insanity plea, and it is believed Samour will allow the team to change their plea from ânot guilty by reason of insanityâ to âguilty.â
Earlier this year, Holmesâ attorneys said that they would enter a guilty plea in exchange for a life sentence for Holmes. In April, prosecutors announced that they would seek the death penalty for Holmes.
ABC News reports Holmesâ trial is scheduled to begin in February 2014. If the insanity plea proceeds, Holmes will undergo a mental evaluation by Colorado state psychiatrists, which may delay the start of the trial.
It is believed that Holmes, who was a promising doctoral student prior to the attacks, had planned his shooting spree months in advance of carrying it out. The shooting was thoroughly devised, with an explosive laden escape plan and booby traps left at his apartment for investigators.
Holmesâ attorneys have always maintained their belief that their client is dealing with mental health issues, but it will ultimately be the mental health professionals of the state of Colorado that will decide his mental state.
What are your feelings on Holmes? Do you think he has mental problems? If so, should he be given a lighter sentence or should it remain the same? Share your thoughts by commenting below.